HIGHLIGHTS OF INDIA
Arrive Delhi by International flight.
Meeting on arrival at Delhi International airport by our representative & transfer to hotel. Delhi, The capital of India, is fascinating city with complexities, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a necropolis. Located on the banks of the river Yamuna, Delhi has witnessed the rise and fall of many cities over the last five millennia.
Overnight in Delhi
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, proceed to discover the city tour of Old Delhi Visiting India’s largest mosque, built by Shah Jahan. Ride a cycle rickshaw from the Jama Masjid through the lanes and by-lanes of Chandi Chawk, the heart of Old Delhi. Experience the life in this part of Old Delhi, which is always on the move. Visit the spice market, food street etc. The ride will culminate at the historic Red Fort - Shah Jahan’s elegant citadel in red sandstone, built in the 17th century AD. Visit the Red Fort from outside as you will visit Agra Fort in Agra, which is bigger than Red Fort and is also built by the same Mughal Emperor. Also visit, the Raj Ghat, the memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Later in the afternoon, proceed to explore the city of New Delhi visiting the Tomb of Humayun built in 16th century AD, a magnificent structure in red sand stone and white marble, a fine example of a garden tomb and a precursor of the Taj Mahal. Drive to the Qutab Minar, a Tower of Victory started by Qutabuddin Aibak of the Slave Dynasty which ruled over Delhi in the 12th century and completed by his successors. Within the courtyard of the adjoining Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque stands the famous Iron Pillar, dating back to the 4th century AD which bears Sanskrit inscription. The pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has not rusted through the past centuries.
Drive along the Rajpath towards the residence of the President of the Republic of India, Rashtrapathi Bhawan which is flanked by the houses of the Parliament and the Government Secretariat buildings. Also drive by India Gate before transferring back to hotel.
Overnight in Delhi
After a leisure breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Mandawa by car (235 kms / 5-6 hrs). Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. Mandawa is one of the finest, yet untouched gems of Shekhawati. This we have endeavored to polish, protect and preserve for you, the connoisseurs, who care and who stayed back. Mandawa is a quite place and the hotel you will be staying one of the oldest haveli in Shekhawati region, converted into a nice heritage hotel.
Afternoon:Visit some of the nice painted havelis of Mandawa and Also visit Nawalgarh founded in 1737 AD at the village site if Rohili before abolition of Jagiri in Rajsthan by Thakur Nawal Singh Ji Bahadur. The Podar haveli built in 1920, which houses a school has many fine paintings.
Overnight in Mandawa
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, leave Mandawa for Bikaner by car (200 Kms / 4 hrs drive). Upon arrival in Bikaner, check-in at the hotel. Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces, in reddish-pink sandstone created with delicacy bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Undulating lanes, colourful bazaars make Bikaner an interesting place.
Later Afternoon proceed to explore the city tour of Bikaner visiting the Junagarh Fort of Bikaner, built in 1593 AD by Raj Rai Singh is one of the best forts of Rajasthan. It comprises of 37 palaces with pavilions, mosaic courtyards, carved balconies, kiosks and windows. The Shish Mahal, the Grand Durbar Hall, the 17th century Karan Mahal, Anup Mahal and the Phool Mahal bring to life the grandeur of a bygone era. The Fort museum has a rare collection of Sanskrit and Persian manuscripts and miniature painting.
Overnight in Bikaner
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Jaisalmer- Sam by car (370 kms / 6-7 hrs). Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
After evening tea /coffee at the camp, proceed on a 45 minute to 1 hr camel safari through the sand dunes and also enjoy sun set over the sand dunes.
Evening: Attend Rajasthani folk dances followed by dinner at the tented camp.
Overnight in Sam
After leisure breakfast at the tented camp, transfer to Jaisalmer by car (40 kms / 1 hrs drive). Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Jaisalmer- rising from the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. The Jaisalmer fort etched in yellow sandstones stands with all its awesome splendour. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palaces, havelis, temples and typical desert life of people and animals.
Later in the afternoon, proceed for tour of Jaisalmer visiting the 80 meter high Jaisalmer fort, perch on the hill, houses the entire township within its ramparts. It has enchanting narrow lanes dotted with exquisite havelis, beautifully sculptured Jain temples of the 12th-15th century, and palaces. The fort is approached through four gateways - Akhaiya Pol, Ganesh
Pol, Suraj Pol and Hava Pol. Some of the most exotic mansions or havelis, all intricately latticed, are strewn all over Jaisalmer, each with a different facade. The havelis of Nathmalji, Patwon and Salim Singh, all in yellow marble of Jaisalmer, are exquisite works of art.
Overnight in Jaisalmer
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Jodhpur by car (290 kms / 5-6 hrs drive). On arrival in Jodhpur, check-in at the hotel.
Jodhpur at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. The massive 15th centuary AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 m above the plains. The lifestyle in Jodhpur is unusually fascinating with peoplewearing lovely multi hued costumes, artistically designed. Shopping in Jodhpur bazaars is a heady experience with a colourful display of the rich collection of exquisite handicrafts. The tie-and-dye fabric, embroidered `jutis’ or slippers in suede, camel skin, velvet and leather, beautiful silk duries, marble souvenirs from Majrana , an extensive range of useful and decorative items etc., are of interest.
Overnight in Jodhpur
After a lesiure breakfast at the hotel Proceed city tour of Jodhpur visiting Mehrangarh Fort, one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with marvellously carved panels with latticed windows. These palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. Also visit Jaswant Thada is the 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, is close to the fort complex. On display are also rare portraits of the Jodhpur rulers and Umaid Bhavan Palace is the only palace built in the 20th century, as a famine relief project that provided employment to the people for 16 years. The palace now runs as a hotel.
Overnight in Jodhpur
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Udaipur by car ( 265 kms / 5-6 hrs). Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.
Udaipur, the city of Dawn, is the Jewel of Mewar – a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia Dynasty for 1200 years. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavour of a heroic past, epitomizing valour and chivalry. The reflection of these building in the placid waters of the Lake Pichola is an enticing sight.
Overnight in Udaipur
After a leisure breakfast at the hotel, proceed for city tour of Udaipur visiting the City Palace, a majestic architectural marvel, which is perched on a hill and towers over Lake Pichola. The palace is a majestic conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Visit the Bharatiya Lok Kala Museum, which has an interesting collection of Indian folk art including costumes, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, musical instruments and deities. Later visit Saheliyon-ki-bari, the ‘ladies garden’, with its rich foliage and intricately designed fountains.
Later in the afternoon, enjoy boat ride on Lake Pichola, on which the majestic Lake Palace Hotel is situated. See the bathing ghats along the lake and the interesting buildings on the banks. The view of the city palace from the lake is spectacular. Dock at the Jagmandir Island where the Maharaja of Udaipur once gave Shah Jahan sanctity
Overnight in Udaipur
After a leisure breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Sawai Madhopur by car (260 Kms / 5-6 hrs drive) and on arrival , check-in at hotel.
Ranthambore National Park is considered to be the countries best for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. The park, covering an area of 392 sq. km. is home to more than 300 species of birds. The tiger, hyena, rate, jackal and fox are among those constituting the carnivorous population here. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Sawai Madhopur
Early morning : Visit Ranthambhore National park by open jeep on sharing basis along with an English speaking naturalist.
Return to hotel for breakfast
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Jaipur by car (150 Kms / 3-4 hrs drive). Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.
Jaipur - the capital of Rajasthan is color washed pink - the color associated with auspiciousness and Rajput hospitality. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills, and a city of broad avenues is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall.
Rest of the day at leisure
Overnight in Jaipur
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, proceed for an excursion to Amber Fort & Palace. Drive past the palace of winds, popularly knowns as Hawa Mahal, which is just a facade built for the ladies of the Royal household in the 19th century. Later visit the capital of the erstwhile state of Jaipur until 1728. This fort is perched on a hill. it has hall of Public and Private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (Palace of mirrors) various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of the medieval Rajput architecture.
Visit the Temple of Amba (Mother of Goddess), patron deity of the Royal family is at the entrance to the palace. Enjoy a short elephant ride up to the fort on which the fort is situated.
Afternoon: City tour of Jaipur visiting the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. It now houses a museum with a super collection of Rajasthani costumes, an armoury of Mughal and Rajputs with weapons of arms, art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets & royal paraphernalia. Visit the Jantar Mantar - an astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 18th century, which is remarkable for its accuracy of the instruments even in the present times.
Overnight in Jaipur
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Agra Jaipur for Agra by car en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri (340 kms /8 hrs drive including visit). Abhaneri, located at a distance of 95 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra road, is a village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan. The place is widely popular as it is home to a colossal step well, Chand Baori, which is considered among the most beautiful step wells of India. The village of Abhaneri is believed to have been established by Samrath Mihir Bhoj who was a Gurjar Pratihar king. The village of Abhaneri is also known for various Rajasthani folk dances which include Ghoomar, Kalbelia and Bhawai. Ghoomar is a dance of the Bhil tribe while Kalbelia is a dance performed by the women of Kalbelia tribe, who make their living by catching snakes and selling their venom.
Fatehpur Sikri - the exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques, and abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. Diwan-i-am - vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience, Diwan-i-khas - a large quadrangle where the entire major functions of the palace took place, Pachisi court, the emperor’s private living quarters, Jodha Bai’s palace, Mariam’s palace, Birbal’s palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex.
Upon arrival in Agra, check-in at the hotel. Agra is famous as the home to one of the seven modern wonders of the World- the Taj Mahal. This city having been the capital of the Mughal dynasty for over hundred years till 1650 there are many Mughal monuments of repute.
Afternoon: Visit Agra Fort & Taj Mahal
The Agra Fort was built by three Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD. The fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort is number of exquisite buildings including Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-i-Am and Musamman Burj- Octagonal Tower, where Emperor Shah Jahan, The builder of the Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb for seven long years and died a prisoner.
The Taj Mahal - the inimitable poem in white marble was built over a period of 22 years (1631-1653), using a workforce of 22000 people, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. The Taj Mahal presents a wondrous sight at different time of the day – at dawn, during the day, at sunset and even on a moonless night. Needless to say it is exquisite on a moonlit night.
Overnight in Agra
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Delhi by car (214 kms / 5 hrs drive). On arrival, transfer to airport. Leave Delhi for onward destination.
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