Arrive Delhi - On arrival at Indira Gandhi International airport, the guest will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel. On arrival at hotel the guests will be provided with the traditional Indian welcome. Indian welcome consists of Aarti-Tikka and garlands with non-alcoholic welcome drink.
Delhi - is the capital of India, the center of 'Indo-Islamic' culture and in existence since before written history. This ancient city is replete with architectural marvels, such as the Red Fort, the imposing Jama Masjid, (the largest mosque in India), both built between 1638-1648 by Shah Jahan, India's most famed Moghul emperor and fervent architect. The Qutab Minar, 234 feet tall minaret dating back to the 13th century and the tomb of Humayun. We will wander through Chandni Chowk, once the richest street in India, today a picturesque bazaar teeming with covered arcades, tiny sacred temples and thronged with novelty stores. Delhi remains distinctly British, the old imperiousness of the Viceroys now the political gentry of the Indian ruling class. Overnight at hotel.
Delhi Morning sight seeing tour of Old Delhi. This morning you will be taken to visit Old Delhi - Former centre of Moghul Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Visit the vast Red Fort, built in 1648, the Jamia Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal and the Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
A unique experience of taking 'rickshaw ride' from the Red Fort, through "Chandni Chowk" or Silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy avenue heading west from the Fort. Chandni Chowk - literally means "moonlit crossroads" and an area which best represents the "super-Oriental" - the glory and the guile, the grandeur and the grime, with its crowded bazaars, twisting lanes, maze of small streets strange aromas, the pungent odour of Oriental spices, the cries of shopkeepers, coolies and "rickshaw-walas" and the clatter and whir of furious industry.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of New Delhi.
New Delhi - drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayuns tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. End the tour at the towering minaret of Qutab Minar. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Delhi - Agra After breakfast drive to Agra (203 kms / 4 hours) After leisurely breakfast visit the Red Fort.
Red Fort - lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.
Later in the afternoon the guests will board the 'decorated tongas' (horse carriage) which will take them to Taj Mahal Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from it's stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.
India's greatest poet Rabindra Nath Tagore described Taj in these evocative words - Though emeralds, rubies, pearls are all But as the glitter of a rainbow trickling out empty air and must pass away yet still one solitary tear would hang on the cheek of time in the form of this White and gleaming Taj Mahal.
The guests will stay at Taj Mahal and witness sunset, to see this true Wonder of the world in gentle late afternoon light.
Visit a marble-in-lay factory to see the "Pietra Dura" work made famous by the Taj Mahal. This art is passed down from father to son.
In the evening witness magic show. Magic show - There is nothing that captures the magical spirit of the lad as much as the conjuror that enthralls his audience with sleights of hand and a range of tricks. Only the adventurous can volunteer to be sawed in half.
Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Agra - Jaipur After breakfast, group will drive to Jaipur en route Fatehpur Sikri (265 kms / 6 hours).
Fatehpur Sikri - drive to the impressive sandstone fortress of Fatehpur Sikri. The fort was built in the 16th century and only occupied for a few years before being abandoned, leaving the buildings in virtually perfect conditions.
Upon arrival in Jaipur - check-in at the hotel.
Jaipur - Encircled by the rugged Aravalli hills with numerous peaks crowned by imposing forts, Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan looks cradled and well protected. It takes its name from Maharaja Jai Singh II, who in the early 1700s became king at the age of 13. He conceived & designed his new capital with exquisite buildings of rose-colored terracotta and broad tree-lined avenues exhibiting an astonishing model of city planning. Today the city is dusty and crammed with camels, horses, people & colorful bazaars.
Tour of the Pink City - Surrounded on three sides by the rugged Aravali hills, Jaipur is the picturesque capital of Rajasthan. It takes its name from the prince, soldier and astronomer Jai Singh II who moved his capital here in 1727. Jaipur is notable for its distinctive pink-orange coloring. The whole of the old city, including many fine palaces and buildings, was constructed from solid blocks of Sandstone or faced with the same stone. But it was only in 1853 that it gained its famous title, the "Pink City"- it was painted pink for the first time in honour of a visit from Prince Albert.
Jaipur - Pushkar After breakfast tour of Amber Fort.
Tour of the impressive Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families.
After lunch - drive to Pushkar (120 kms / 3 hours) Upon arrival check in at hotel.
Afternoon witness the Pushkar fair. Overnight at hotel.
Pushkar is famous for its colourful annual fair during kartik poornima (full moon) in the November each year. At this time this otherwise peaceful and gentle village on the banks of holy Pushkar take is thrown into colourful confusion when the desert tribes and camel caravans meet to trade cattle, camels, goat, sheep, clothes, jewellery and spices beside the sacred Pushkar Lake and to perform their rituals in its waters, to the accompaniment of temple & folk music. Upto 200000 traders and 50000cattle pour into town, along with numerous festooned camels and colourful pilgrims. After 10 hectic days of livestock dealing, camel racing and colourful festivities, everybody goes for a big holy dip in the lake on the night of the full moon. (Kartik Purnima).
Check into the Swiss Camp captures the luxurious nostalgia of a bygone age of the Maharaja's Safari and Shikar camps, combined with innovative design demonstrating many of the skills and crafts of Marwar. The camp consists of tents, each with verandah, bedroom and bathroom. There is a large dining tent serving the best of Rajasthani cuisine and a large open reception tent with seating areas. The campfire is the focal point for the evening entertainment programme with cocktails & rhythms of the Thar-music, dancing, magicians, puppet shows, jugglers, flaming torches & camel parades. (Important note: As this is a religious and sacred place therefore no non-vegetarian food or alcohol will be served .)
Full day at the fair. Built as 'an explosion of fun, frolic, games and laughter', the fair provides some wonderful photographic opportunities and is a rare change to see Rajasthani women decked out in all their traditional jewellery, dress and finery. Temple music wafts through the night, as the fires die down and the Rajasthani melodies played on the stringed ek-tara come to a close. On the night of the full moon, the pilgrims bathe by moonlight, then send marigold and rose petals floating across the lake on green plate-like leaves. It is worth getting up early to see the camels and tribes rousing themsel ves in the pink of the dawn desert light.
Overnight in the camp.
Pushkar-Mandawa After breakfast proceed for Mandawa. Upon arrival check in at Hotel late afternoon visit the Shekawati region.
Walk through the Shekawati region, which was the stronghold of Kayamkhani Nawabs till 1730. Besides the cenotaphs, wells, forts and temples the majority of frescoes are painted on the walls and gateways of Havelis. The havelis are mansion of a unique residential architectural style that evolved around courtyards to serve the purpose of family security, privacy for the women as also protecting the inhabitants from the long, harsh summers. The enormous Havelis with fascinating murals built by the wealthy Rajasthani merchants ("Marwaris") in the 19th century. Overnight at hotel.
Mandawa - Bikaner - Gajner After breakfast drive to Bikaner (240 kms)
Upon arrival in Bikaner lunch at one of the hotels followed by city tour. City sightseeing tour of Bikaner, this desert town in the north of the state was founded in 1488 by Roa Bikaji, a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Jodhaji. Visit the Junagarh Fort constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Jai Singh, a general in the Moghul Emperor Akbar's army.
After sightseeing drive to Gajner Palace (28 kms / 40 minutes). Upon arrival check in at Gajner Palace. OVERNIGHT in PALACE
Gajner - Jaisalmer In the morning enjoy the surrounding of Ganjer Palace. After breakfast, drive to Jaisalmer (260 km) Upon arrival check-in at hotel.
JAISALMER - is India's most exotic and unusual town - a medieval looking place, straight out of the 'Tales of the Arabian Nights'. This beautiful city is situated inside a huge mud fort and grew as a result of its strategic position on the trading route between India and Central Asia bringing great wealth to the city. Jaisalmer is a tiny jewel in the heart of the Thar Desert - once the capital of the Bhatti Rajputs. Jaisalmer started as an important caravan center and remnants of caravan sarais still exist.
Late in the evening visit the Sam dunes where you will witness sunset while enjoying the camel ride.
Jaisalmer After breakfast, visit this perfect Rajput walled desert city which is like a golden jewel shimmering above the hard sand. Visit the palaces, the Jain temples and magnificent Havelis or merchant's houses, each richly decorated and carved from golden yellow sandstone - Patwon-ki-haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants) is the largest and most elaborate of the famous havelis of Jaisalmer. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli (The Mansion of Nathmalji), the last of the great havelis was built in the late 19th century. End the morning with a visit to Gadisar Lake - the large natural oasis that attracted Rawal Jaisal to this site. Afternoon, visit the Royal Cenotaphs of the Rawals in Barra bagh where the rural were cremated. This is also the best place from which to watch the spectacular desert sunset, and photograph the fort. OVERNIGHT in GORBANDH PALACE .
Jaisalmer-Jodhpur - After early breakfast, drive to Jodhpur (280 km) Upon arrival check in at hotel.
City tour of Jodhpur - the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur, Jodhpur stands at the edge of the Thar Desert. It was founded by Rao Jodha. Chief of the Rajput clan known as Rathores and the Rathore kingdom was once known as Marwar - the Land of Death. The tour includes Meherangarh Fort - one of the most impressive & formidable in the whole of fort-studded Rajasthan is situated on a high natural rock bluff and from which you can look down on the wonderful panorama of the bustling city below, Jaswant Thada - the Royal Cenotaphs. Overnight at hotel.
Jodhpur-Udaipur After breakfast drive to Udaipur (280 kms / 7 hours) enroute stopping at Ranakpur Temples.
Ranakpur temples: A visit to the famous Jain Temple, 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. Upon arrival in Udaipur, check-in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel. .
Udaipur-Delhi 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. The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes.
Visit the magnificent City Palace, which is simply enormous - an assemblage of not one but four separate palaces covering some four acres of area and exceeding all other palaces for colossal grandeur. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies; and the Peacock Courtyard.
Udaipur, one of India's most romantic cities and famed for its lovely palaces and lakes. Begin by visiting the City Palace and wandering through its beautiful rooms and apartments, then continue on to the Garden of Maidens "Sahelion-ki-Bari' and the Folk Art Museum, to view the interesting collection of puppets & paintings
Late afternoon, enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Pichola at sunset visiting the Jagmandir Island - in the middle of the Romantic Lake Pichola. It commands a magnificent view of the City Palace, Lake Palace and Sajjangarh Fort, on its own island, and it is where Prince Khurram was given refuge in the 17th century.
Evening transfer to the airport for flight to Delhi.
Leave: Udaipur by IC - 7472 at 1810 hrs
Arrive: Delhi at 2110 hrs
Upon arrival transfer to hotel Radisson for dinner.
15th/SaturdayDelhi - Abroad Later transfer from hotel to the airport for flight back home.