North India Classical with Diwali Celebrations
Duration : 23 Days / 22 Nights
Destinations Covered : Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Orcha, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chhatrasagar, Jodhpur, Delhi
Day 01 : Delhi
On your arrival at Delhi International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative who will help you with your transfer to the hotel where you can relax.
Briefing (Delhi): Delhi is the capital of India and its third largest city. Delhi, the seat of one of the world's largest democracies is a combination of "Old Delhi"- the capital of Muslim India and "New Delhi" the imperial city created as the nation's capital by the British. There's a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Here one can see mingling of many cultures, languages, traditions and people in complete harmony.
Overnight will be at Delhi.
Day 02 : Delhi
Breakfast will be at hotel. Later proceed for the sightseeing tour.
Raj Ghat: The mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi were cremated on this spot on the west bank of the river Yamuna on the evening of January 31, 1948. A simple open platform inscribed with the Mahatma's last words, 'Hey Ram' (Oh God) is set in a garden with fountains and a variety of exotic trees.
Jama Masjid: It is the largest mosque in India. Located in Old Delhi, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 devotees. Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD and it was again the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan behind this architectural masterpiece. Close to some 5000 craftsmen were involved in the construction of the mosque. Jama Masjid is also called the Friday congregational mosque because Muslims turn up in large numbers to offer Namaz on Fridays, called as the yaum al-jum`a. Masjid-i-Jahan Numa popularly called as Jama Masjid, means the mosque commanding a view of the world. The mosque is a real example of great architecture that existed during the Mughal period. It has the blend of both Hindu and Mughal style of architecture. (To be viewed from outside.)
Qutub Minar: The word 'Qutub' itself means 'pole of justice.' The Qutub Minar made ofred sandstone rising to the height of 72.5mts is an architectural marvel of the 13th century. It is situated in Delhi. It is constructed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in the 12th century to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajputs and was completed in the 13th century by his successors.The structure was also probably built as a Minar, or place to call the faithful to prayer. It is often viewed as a symbol of the military might of the Turko-Afghan dynasty and Islam.
Red Fort: Red Fort or Lal Quila as it is more popularly known is a masterpiece of architecture and one of the most haunting spots for tourists from both India and abroad. This colossal fort on the banks of the river Yamuna, built by Shahjahan as the citadel of the 17th Century Delhi is a significant link between the past and the present, for it is from here that the prime minister of India addresses the people on the Independence Day (August 15th).Mughal Emperor Shahjahan started construction of the Red Fort in 1638, which was completed in 1648. Even today, the fort continues to be impressive evidence to Mughal grandeur.
In the evening enjoy the rickshaw ride at old Delhi.
Overnight at Delhi.
Day 03 : Delhi
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and later proceed for the sightseeing tour.
India Gate: It is a majestic high arch, 42 meters high, built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed in the World War I. It is called the All India War Memorial. The foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
Rashtrapati Bhavan: President's House.
Lotus Temple: The grand "Lotus Temple" is termed by many as the Taj of modern India. Its distinctive lotus shaped marvel in marble is surrounded by a landscaped garden and is a symbol of peace. It is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai faith. It was completed in 1986. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It reaches a height of more than 40m. One can see 27 giant white petals of marble in a lotus shape, springing from nine pools and walkways indicative of the nine unifying spiritual paths of the Bahai's faith. The Bahai's laid great emphasis on prayer and meditation. They believe that these are important instruments for the progress of the human soul, both in this world and the next.
National Museum, New Delhi, today , has in its possession over 2,00,000 works of exquisite art, both of Indian and Foreign origin covering more than 5,000 years of our cultural heritage. Its rich holdings of various creative traditions and disciplines which represents a unity amidst diversity,an unmatched blend of the past with the present and strong perspective for the future, brings history to life.
Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 04 : Delhi - Varanasi
Airlines : Air India
Departure : 10:25 hrs
Arrival : 11:35 hrs
Have a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel.
Later transfer to the airport to connect flight for Varanasi.
Briefing (Varanasi): Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is the most popular pilgrimage point for the Hindus and one of the seven holiest cities. In Hinduism it is believed that those who die and are cremated here get an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and re-births. Considered as the abode of Lord Shiva, Varanasi is situated on the banks of River Ganges, which is believed to have the power of washing away all of one's sins. As pundits here will tell you, whatever is sacrificed and chanted here or given in charity reaps its fruits thousand times more than those good deeds performed at other places because of the power of that place. It is believed that three nights of fasting in Varanasi city can reap you rewards of many thousands of lifetimes of asceticism!Varanasi is the oldest city of the world. Varanasi is more than 3000 years old and is famous as the city of temples. In Varanasi, there are temples at every few paces. Looking at the number of temples in Varanasi, it is hard to believe that a large number of them were demolished during the medieval times.
Later start for the sightseeing tour of Varanasi.
Sarnath: Sarnath, 10 km from Varanasi, where the Buddha preached his first sermon in the Deer Park, contains the most impressive remains, as well as a modem temple. The Dharmarajika, Chaukhandi and Dharnek stupas are outstanding. There are also the remains of a monastery, and the beautifully polished Lion Capital of Ashoka. Sarnath contains a rich library and at the Mula gandha Kutir Vihara there are excellent frescoes by Kosetsu Nosu. The Sarnath Museum, not far from the site, contains some of the finest specimens of Buddhist sculpture.
Later proceed for the River Ganges to enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.
Overnight will be at Varanasi.
Day 05 :Varanasi - Khajuraho
Airlines : Air India
Departure : 12:25 hrs
Arrival : 13:10 hrs
Drive to Daswamedh Ghat early in the morning and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga".
Return to the hotel and have your breakfast.
Later you will be transferred to the airport to connect flight for Khajuraho.
Briefing (Khajuraho): Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Temple town of Khajuraho is much different from any other temple city of India. It is not about religion and worshipping and deities. The temples of Khajuraho are instead famous for the eroticism etched on its walls in the form of sculptures. An amalgamation of science and art of architecture, these 10th-11th century temples have a very interesting legend behind them that connects them to the origin of Chandela dynasty. It is said that in a fit of passion and lust, the Moon God seduced and ravaged a beautiful Brahmin girls known as Hemvati, resulting in the birth of Chandravarman (the founder of the Chandela dynasty). Later, Chandravarman had a dream where his mother requested him to make a temple, which would reveal all aspects of the treasure of passion and erotic fantasy to the world.
Reach and check in at the hotel and later proceed for sightseeing of Exotic temples (Western, Southern & Eastern group.
Proceed for an evening SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at Western Group of Temple.
Overnight will be at Khajuraho.
Day 06 : Khajuraho - Orcha - Jhansi
Distance 170 kms/ 4 hrs
Jhansi - Agra
By Deluxe Train
Train No. : 2001
Train Name : Bhopal Shatabadi Express
Departure : 18:10 hrs
Arrival : 20:38 hrs
Have a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel. Later proceed for Orcha.
Briefing (Orchha): Orcha is a town situated near the Banks of Betwa River, which is located in Madhya Pradesh a state of India. It is a city of medieval times comprised of temples and splendid palaces of the past. Orcha has been a very mighty kingdom of Central India founded by Bundela Rajput Rudra Pratap. The palaces still have the glory of the past telling the tales and tastes of the rulers of those times. Orcha is of great interest of Tourists because it reflects ancient history of Kings and Kingdoms, which have vanquished the world over and their descendents are left with just the titles and memories of the past, with the modern civilization having tramped them in all corners of the world.
Continue your drive to Jhansi railway station which is just at a distance of 15 kms from Orcha & board train for Agra.
Briefing (Agra): Overwhelming is the exquisite beauty and presence of this marble mausoleum that centuries later today, even the very land where it has been located - Agra - has been immortalized as the City of the Taj. Yet, it doesn't take much for the roving eye to discover that there's more to Agra than just the fabled Taj Mahal. The city is a virtual gateway to a world of discovery. a freeze-frame from a resplendent era that's long since gone by. In the great epic 'Mahabharat' the region of Agra is described as 'Agraban' (an integral part of the Brij Bhumi or the land of Lord Krishna).
The latter part of Indian history outlines the origins of Agra to 1475 A.D., when the reign of Raja Badal Singh. However, Agra came into limelight during the rule of Afghan King Sikandar Lodhi - who had made it the capital of his empire.Later in 1526 A.D., the Mughal Emperor Babar took upon himself the task for rendering Agra, a unique character and beauty of its own. The visionary that he was and a great patron of the arts, Emperor Babar brought in a change in the culture and life-style among the people of Agra, which then brought forth some of the finest craftsmen, artists, statesmen, warriors and nobility, this part of India had ever witnessed. The golden age of Agra's history, thus began to set in. The next few hundred years of Agra witnessed the rise of the pomp and pageantry of three great Mughal monarchs - Emperor Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan - all of whom lavished on this fabled city, their love and riches immeasurable to transform the land into one of the great centers of art, culture, learning and commerce. Much of the city's impressive past lives in evidence even today. The older city of Agra has impressively retained much of its resplendent history. captivating every visitor with fond memories to take back home.
On arrival at Agra railway station, you will be met by our company's representative and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight will be at Agra.
Day 07 : Agra
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for a sightseeing tour of Agra visiting Agra Fort.
Agra Fort: Built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the red sandstone Agra fort was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time. Though the principal structure was built by Akbar, many more additions were made by his grandsons. This massive fort is 2.5 kms long and is considered as the predecessor of the Delhi Red fort. The colossal walls are 20 feet high and the whole fort is encircled by a fetid moat. Amar Singh gate towards the south is the only entry point in the fort. The building and structures inside the fort gives an impression of a city within the city. Many of the building inside the fort are now closed for the public. The marble pearl mosque inside the fort is one of the most stunningly beautiful mosques in India. The Agra fort retains the irregular outline of the demolished mud-wall fort of the Lodis. The magnificent towers, bastions and ramparts and majestic gateways symbolized the confidence and power of the third Mughal emperor, Akbar. The fort is auricular in shape and its colossal double walls rise 20 m in height and measure 2.5 m in circumference. The fort is encircled by a fetid moat. The magnificent towers, bastions and ramparts and majestic gateways symbolized the confidence and power of the third Mughal emperor.
Taj Mahal: Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous with love and romance. It is believed that the name "Taj Mahal" was derived from the name of Shah Jahan wife Mumtaz Mahal and means "Crown Palace". The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make Taj Mahal travel gain a place amongst the most popular ones. However, unless and until, one knows the love story behind the Tajmahal of India, it will come up as just a beautiful building. But, the love behind this outstanding monument is what has given a life to this monument.
In the evening proceed for a cultural show by Kala Kriti in Agra.
· Return back to the hotel and overnight.
Day 08 : Agra - Ranthambore
Distance 250 kms/ 5hrs
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and drive for Ranthambore National Park.
Briefing (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. In 1955, the Ranthambore National Park was declared a game sanctuary; and in 1980, it attained the status of a national park. With the initiation of Project Tiger in 1972, it was declared as a tiger reserve in India.
The total area of the Ranthambore National Park is 1,334 sq km along with its adjoining sanctuaries - the Kaila Devi Sanctuary and the Mansingh Sanctuary.The typical feature of the park is that out of the entire park some areas are open for the tourists to wander in and explore the flora and fauna of the 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 the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India.
Ranthambore is also categorised as a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins of the fort that dot the park. The lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic fort dating back to 1,000 years overlook the park. The Jogi Mahal and the Padam Talao are the unique features of Ranthambore National Park. The park is famous for the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers, which can be seen around the lakes and watering holes, prowling through the forest or resting on the ruins of the fort. Ranthambore National Park is one of the best sanctuaries to see tigers in their wild habitat in India. Many dignitaries have visited Ranthambore National Park to see its majestic tigers. President Bill Clinton of the United States came to Ranthambore National Park on his visit to India and expressed his delight at seeing the tigers of Ranthambore.
The tigers enjoy their hegemony in the national park. The Ranthambore National Park is also ideal for taking the snapshots. The rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna includes 300 trees, 50 aquatic plants, over 300 species of birds, 12 reptiles and 30 mammals. Apart from the tiger, the tourists can also observe Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Porcupines and Jackals, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Marsh Crocodile, Sambhar, Chital, Nilgai, Gazzelle, Boars, Mongoose, Indian Hare, Monitor Lizards and a large number of birds. Most of these wild animals can be spotted near the lakes and water holes during the evening.
Reach Ranthambore relax at the resort and spend the evening at leisure.
Overnight at Ranthambore.
Day 09 : Ranthambore
Have an early breakfast at the resort and proceed for the morning jeep safari.
Return back for lunch at the resort and later proceed for the evening jeep safari.
Overnight at Ranthambhore.
Day 10 :Ranthambore - Jaipur
Distance 150 kms / 3 hrs
Have a relaxed breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for the "Pink City" of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
Briefing (Jaipur): The picturesque city of Jaipur was chosen as the capital of the new state of Rajasthan, the land of the rajas, which was created after India's independence by merging the princely states of the region. The tourist who's discovered that urban India is one maze of cluttered cities will be pleasantly surprised with Jaipur. With its broad avenues, its well laid out gardens and specifically designed areas for markets and residential centres, Jaipur is a success story of 18th century city planning. Jaipur is famously referred to as the 'Pink City' because Maharaja Man Singh II ordered his city painted a pretty pink in honour of the visiting Prince of Wales, Edward VII in 1876.
As with many other places in India, the ancient and the modern co-exist in harmony. In Jaipur, veiled peasant women in swirling ghagras and dazzling odhnis rub shoulders with youngsters in designer jeans and tie and dye turbans while solemn camels lope alongside shiny cars.
Reach and check in at the hotel and relax for sometime.
In the evening, we will take you to the Birla Temple to know more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.
Return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 11 : Jaipur
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for a sightseeing tour of Jaipur, starting with Amber Fort Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal
Amber Fort: Amber Fort is located in Amber (Jaipur), which used to be the capital of the Kachhwaha clan, till Jaipur was made the official capital in 1727. The Amber Fort looks stunning, all-built in white marble and red sandstone.
To add to its charm, Maotha Lake makes its foreground. The crystal mirror image of the Fort, on the still waters of the lake, seems to be a beautiful illusion. Amber Fort is usually pronounced as Amer Fort. In 1592, construction of the Fort was started by Raja Man Singh I. However, the Amber Fort took its present form during the reign of Raja Jai Singh I. The outer appearance of the Fort, being rough and craggy is totally different from its core. The interior of the Fort provides a soothing and warm ambience, which is least expected from its outer appearance. The marvelous decoration of the Amer Fort is influenced by both, the Hindu and Muslim manner of ornamentation. Exquisite paintings of hunting scenes on the walls depict the temperament of the Rajputs, who were adventurous, revolutionary and self-indulgent.
City Palace : Forms one of the most famous tourist attractions and a major landmark in Jaipur. The beautiful palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during his reign. Among the various forts and palaces of Jaipur, City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. City Palace complex covers a huge area, which is divided into a series of gardens, courtyards and buildings. Initially, Raja Jai Singh built the outer wall occupying a huge area. The additional grand buildings were constructed later by the succeeding rulers.
A part of the exquisite Palace still makes home for the former Maharaja/ King.The premises consists several buildings like Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani's Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. One would come across the Mubarak Mahal, as one enters the first square. Mubarak Mahal was built by Sawai Madho Singh in the 19th century to entertain his guests. Today, it has converted into a costume gallery, which displays royal attires of the Kings.
Jantar Mantar: Jantar Mantar at Jaipur is the largest stone observatory in the World and this feature makes it, a special destination for a traveler. Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. During the period between 1727 and 1733, Jantar Mantar took its form and structure. Jantar Mantar has a remarkable collection of architectural astronomical instruments. It portrays noteworthy attempt of the ancestors, who were interested in astronomy and knowledge of celestial bodies. Above all, this observatory still, provides accurate information, which can be compared with today's modern instruments undeniably.
Hawa Mahal : It is a major landmark and a famous tourist attraction of Jaipur. The Palace offers a beautiful sight to behold. The splendid Rajputana architecture of Hawa Mahal, still speaks the glory of the royal family. However, one can also find a glimpse of Mughal architecture, which is blended perfectly to make it different from others. The literal meaning of Hawa Mahal is Palace of Winds. Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. Hawa Mahal is a pyramid-shaped facade with five stories. It has 953 small windows decorated with tiny lattice work. These pink sandstone windows commonly known as "Jharokhas" are constructed in such a style, that it looks like a giant honeycomb. The air circulation through windows represents the marvelous touch of Mughal designing, which keeps the Palace always cool. The small screened balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices enhance the beauty of the Palace.
Return back to the hotel and relax for sometime. Later in the evening proceed for an excursion to Choki Dhani.
Choki Dhani: Today we will take you for evening excursion to Chokhi Dhani complex, an ethnic village resort located at a distance 15 km from Jaipur. Evenings at Chokhi Dhani are very special. A Rajasthani village atmosphere is recreated on the sprawling ground and includes the entertainment by folk dancers and musicians. The guests can move around freely and enjoy the evening.
Later drive back to Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12 :Jaipur - Mandawa
Distance 180 kms / 3 hrs
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for Mandawa (Jhunjunu District). Mandawa is famous for its beautiful havelis (mansions) & frescoes.
Briefing (Mandawa): It is a small town in the heart of Shekhawati region. The place is known not only for its havelis but also for its Fort Palace. The structure of the palace reminds of the cultural and social importance of this region in the past. Of the havelis, the most important are the Chokhani, Ladia, Binsidhar Newatia, and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. Another haveli, the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, is known for its curious paintings. There is a painting of a boy holding a telephone and a European woman in a car driven by a chauffeur.The Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli is famous for its erotic images, now mostly defaced. The compact and busy little market town of Mandawa was settled and fortified in 18th century by the dominant merchant families of the region. The wealthy businessmen of the village constructed many havelis and baolis with colored painting adorning their walls. Later on, with the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Despite the time lapse and ignorance about these visual and architectural extravaganzas, their attraction did not fade and today they are some of the major attractions for the tourists visiting Rajasthan.
After relaxing for sometime, start for the tour of Mandawa exploring Mandawa Fort, Gulab Rai Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, and Bansidhar Newatia Haveli.
Overnight will be at Mandawa Castle.
Day 13 :Mandawa - Bikaner
Distance 190 kms / 4 hrs
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and later proceed for Bikaner.
Briefing (Bikaner): The city of Bikaner is founded by Rao Bikaji- a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodha Ji in the year of 1448. Bikaner is famous for its imposing forts, elegantpalaces, stunningly painted havelis, and Camel Breeding Farm & Research Centre which is only one in Asia of its one kind.The royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the Desert State, the city is dotted with many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle. The wells of Bikaner - an important source of water are other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the Four Corners and can be noticed even from a distance.
Reach and check in at the hotel and relax for sometime. Later proceed for sightseeing tour of Bikaner.
Junagagarh Fort: It was built by Raja Rai Singh between the years of 1589 -1594 AD and is surrounded by a wall with two entrance gates. 'Suraj pole' is the main gate. Among the places of interest is the Chandra Mahal, with paintings, mirrors and carved marble panels. The Phool Mahal is decorated with glass and mirrors. The Karan Mahal was built to commemorate a notable victory over the Mughal Aurangzeb. The Anoop Mahal is famous for its gold leaf painting. Revel in the architectural splendor, as you take an intimate look at this imposing fort, built by Akbar's contemporary Raja Rai Singh. Within the fort are thirty seven palaces, pavilions. The palaces, exquisitely built in red sandstone and marble are ornate with mirror work, carvings and paintings.
Karni Mata Temple: The temple lies about 12 kms from Bikaner and is also known as the Rat Temple. There are numerous number of rats found in the temple premises and the mystery remains unfold even today.
Return back to the hotel and overnight.
Day 14 : Bikaner - Jaisalmer
Distance 320 kms / 5.5 hrs
Have a comfortable morning and enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.
Later start your drive for Jaisalmer.
Briefing (Jaisalmer): Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna-the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would built his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 A.D. when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital - Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill. Bahti Rajputs of Jaisalmer were feudal chiefs who lived off the forced levy on the caravans laden with precious silks and spices that crossed the territory enroute Delhi-or-Sind. These caravans earned the town great wealth.
Reach and check in at the hotel and evening will be at your own leisure. You can relax in the hotel or can also have a walk in the local market.
Overnight will be at Jaisalmer.
Day 15 : Jaisalmer
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for a sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer Fort: It is one of the oldest living Forts in the world. The fort stands almost 30 meters over the city and houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes of the fort is an experience worth savoring. Built in 1156, the Jaisalmer Fort is the second oldest in Rajasthan. Rising to 250 feet with strong & imposing crenellated sandstone 30 feet high wall, the fort has 99 bastions, 92 of which were built between 1633 & 1647. The fort is approached through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol and Hawa Pol. Also, within it are many beautiful havelies and a group of Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The wells within the fort are still a regular source of water. The golden - yellow sandstone fort of Jaisalmer crowns the Trikuta Hills for over 800 years now. Within its walls, defended by 99 bastions, lies the old city, nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Seen from outside, the sight must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland camel caravans to central Asia. Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping relegated the town to relative obscurity.
Nathmal Ki Haveli : Two 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 epitomising the side by side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.
Salim Singh Ki Haveli : Salim 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. People claim that Salim Singh made two additional floors in order to make it as high as the fort but the Maharaja did not take this attempt in good spirit. He ordered the extra floors to be torn down. Nevertheless we do not find enough evidence to corroborate the story.Like other havelis in Jaisalmer, this too has tuskers guarding the gateways. These are made of sand stones and look very close to the original in appearance. The haveli consists of as many as 38 balconies and they all have distinct designs for themselves. The front facet of the haveli resembles ship stern and thus this haveli is also sometimes referred as Jahaz mahal.
Patwon Ji ki Haveli : The 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. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century. The havelis are also known as the 'mansion of brocade merchants'. This name has been given probably because the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However, there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending. This is the largest Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. This haveli is presently occupied by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself.
Tazia Tower: Tazia Tower of Jaisalmer is one of the major tourist attractions. If you have done with the various Rajputana architectures scattered in the city, Tazia tower will come as a welcome break to you. It is situated in the excellent 'Badal Palace' complex located near Amar Sagar Gate. These were the homes of the former royal family. The Tazia tower is a 5-storied structure where each story has significance in its own. On each floor there is a balcony that is famous for their individual designs. This was built by Muslim craftsmen and is based on the shape of Tazia. Tazia is actually the replica of Mausoleum of various Imams.
Amar Sagar: From Lodurva, the road to Jaisalmer passes through Amar Sagar, which has a grand artificial reservoir for water, a temple and a promenade on the bank. Bada Bagh, cenotaphs of the Jaishalmer Rawals, has some magnificent chattris (canopies) set amidst an oasis of greenery. The elegant chattris are in white marble and mostly in the fabulous yellow sandstone.
Godi Sagar Lake: This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is sourrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute, Tilon. When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate, adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.
Jain Temples: Jain Temples situated in the Jaisalmer Fort are a must visit site in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. You will find these temples to be very old and high pilgrimage as well as archeological value attached to them. These are a group of Jain temples dating back 12th and 15th centuries and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars (Hermits). On the walls of the temples, you can find animal & human figures, carved in famous Dilwara style.These temples are built in the Dilwara style that is famous all over the world for its architecture. The style got its name from the famous 'Dilwara Temples' situated on Mount Abu, a famous Hill station and pilgrimage destination in Rajasthan. The Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort are dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdev Ji, the famous Jain hermits known as 'Tirthankars'. Like all other structures in Jaisalmer, these temples are craved of yellow sandstones. The beautifully carves decorations on the wall will give you divine peace. The Astapadhi Temples that are situated in the same complex are a must visit too.
In the late afternoon, proceed to the SAND DUNES for visiting the Typical Rajasthani Desert Village. View the sunset from the dunes, as the sky is set on fire. Return to the village for dinner amidst Rajasthani musicians playing haunting tunes.
Return to the hotel and spend night at Jaisalmer.
Day 16 :Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Distance 320 kms / 5. 5 hrs (Road condition is excellent and it would be a comfortable drive)
Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel.
Later start for the "Blue City" of Rajasthan, Jodhpur.
Briefing (Jodhpur): Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Jodhpur "The Sun City" was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459. It is named after him only. Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India was previously known as Marwar. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. It is divided into two parts - the old city and the new city. The old city is separated by a 10 km long wall surrounding it. Also it has eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. The landscape is scenic and mesmerizing. Jodhpur city has many beautiful palaces and forts such as Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhavan Palace and Rai ka Bag Palace. Other charms of Jodhpur include Government museum and its beautiful Umed garden. The city is known as the "Sun City" because of its bright and sunny weather throughout the year.
Reach and check in at the hotel and the evening would be at your own leisure.
Overnight at Jodhpur.
Day 17 : Jodhpur
Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel.
Later proceed for sightseeing tour of Jodhpur.
Meharangarh Fort: Mehrangarh Fort stands a hundred feet in splendor on a perpendicular cliff, four hundred feet above the sky line of Jodhpur. Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons.
Much has been written about the Citadel of the Sun, for truly, it is one of the most impressive in all Rajasthan. So colossal are its proportions that Rudyard Kipling called it "the work of giants". Today, it is acknowledged as the finest living example of a Hindu fortress. Jodha's fortress was 'Chao Burja' - a fort with four Bastions. The extremities of the original fortress fall within the limit of the second gate today .Of Jodha's time itself, very little remains, the fort expanded beyond his outer gates within fifty years of his death but the spot where this gate stood is known as "Rao Jodhaji Ka Falsa" (Jodha's outer limit of the boundary). In its Janampatri the fort is named Chintamani, after the Mythological gem worn by lord Ram which supposedly frees the owner of all worldly worry. Chintamani gave way to Mordhwaj, the flag of the peocock, presumably because the forts outer parameter suggests the fan like tail of a dancing peacock; it is at some point after this that the name Mehrangarh began to appear in chronicles and poems. "Mehr" is a Rajasthani word for the sun and it is not at all unlikely that the Suryavanshi Rathores would name their first citadel in their mythological ancestor's honour.
Jaswant Thada: The magnificent Jaswant Thada is a beautiful marble cenotaph that was built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh in 1899. This architectural landmark in Jodhpur is truly an architectural wonder in itself with its intricately carved façade. In fact, the Jaswant Thada is truly a magnificent sight to behold with its elegant beauty and picture perfect settings. Jaswant Thada is a classic example of the famed Rajputana style of architecture. The main cenotaph is really impressive with its ornamented sculptures, friezes, domes and pillars. You will be also be able to marvel at the separate section of cenotaphs dedicated to the braves queens and concubines who committed sati (self immolation) on the pyre of Jaswant Singh.Figures of dancing girls adorn the pillars of this section and speak a lot about the artistic genius of the sculptors who worked on it. As you explore the Jaswant Thada you can also feast your eyes on the beautiful portraits that adorn the interiors of the place. Relive the grandeur of Rajasthan's history and marvel at the spirit of sacrifice and bravery that drove the brave people of the land. The latticework on display at the Jaswant Thada is another attraction of this wonderful monument. Don't forget to enjoy a view of the picturesque surroundings around Jaswant Thada from the terrace in front of the cenotaph. That would indeed add up to a wonderful experience.
Rai Ka Bagh: The Rai ka Bag Palace of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is another tourist spot for you to visit on your trip to Jodhpur. The queen of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-I, Hadiji, built this palace. It is situated near the Raika Bag palace railway station. Famous Rai Ka Bag palace in Jodhpur, India was constructed in 1663. It was amongst the favorite palaces of King Jaswant Singh-II, most of the time he stayed in the octagonal bungalow of Rai Ka Bag palace. In 1883, Swami Dayanand Saraswati came to Jodhpur. The arrangements for his public audience were made in the public ground of this palace only. He gave his sermons there itself. Even Jaswant Singh used to listen to Swami Dayanand in this palace only. At present the palace houses the income-tax office.
Return back to the hotel and relax for sometime. After lunch we take you for a visit to Bishnoi Village.
The Bishnoi's are an eco Friendly sect of Hindu religion, it is one of the different community of Rajasthan who are famous for there rich culture, Rajasthani life and there true love for nature and animals. Bishnoi Village Safari is organized to show our foreign guests a glimpse of rich cultural life around the state of Marwar. Bishnoi is a community of nature worshippers in the state of Rajasthan, India. You can freely walk in the village and can also interact with people. Each guest is welcomed by the villagers with true hospitality and honor. They share there day to day activity and also help one to understand the culture of Rajasthan. You can see the craft work, women making wonderful potteries which are a combination of colors.
Return back to the hotel and overnight.
Day 18 : Jodhpur - Udaipur
Distance 280 kms / 5 hrs
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Later start your drive to the majestic city of Udaipur, en-route visiting the famous Jain Temples of Udaipur.
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. The Ranakpur Complex holds an exceptional beauty, which is well worth seeing, and makes for a convenient stop between Jodhpur and Udaipur. It is tucked away in remote and quite valley of the Aravalli Range, 90km from Udaipur. 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. These temples were constructed in the AD 1439. It is located in the mountain ranges of Pali district, 39 kms away from the Phalna railway station. Ranakpur is reached after passing lush green valleys and streams and the heart capturing views drive away any fatigue of the journey. 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 kgs whose sound echoes in the entire complex.
Jain Temples: The main temple is the Chaumukha Temple, or Four-Faced Temple, dedicated to Adinath, the firsttirthankar ('Jain Teacher'). Built in 1439, this huge, superbly crafted and well-kept marble temple has 29 halls supported by 14 pillars - no two are alike. Within the complex are two other Jain temples (dedicated to Neminath and Parasnath) and, a short distance away, a Sun Temple. Amba Mata Temple is 1 km from the main complex.
Continue your drive to Udaipur.
Briefing (Udaipur): Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years. Udaipur is also known as the city of Dawn. It is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. The foundation of the city has an interesting legend associated with it. According to it, Maharana Udai Singh, the founder, was hunting one day when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola. The hermit blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorable located spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake, an agreeable altitude and an amphitheater of low mountains. Maharana followed the advice of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
Reach and check in at the hotel and relax.
Evening will be free at your own leisure to explore the streets and colorful markets of this magnificent city and enjoy the festival of Diwali.
Diwali celebration is of great importance and big festival in India. During the Diwali, the city would have a complete makeover & Houses and business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with lovely traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Rangoli have become the hot favourites of people this Diwali (Rangoli' the traditional Indian art form). To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses.Lamps are kept burning all through the night. Believing this day to be auspicious women purchase some gold or silver or at least one or two new utensils.The shopkeepers sell crackers and sweets. In fact the sale of fire crackers start from Dushera and reaches its peak a day before Diwali. People shop for sweets for their near and dear ones and many families are seen purchasing candles, diyas (earthen lamps) mark the Diwali decorations and fancy electric bulbs to illuminate their houses.
Overnight will be at Udaipur.
Day 19 : Udaipur
Have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Today we take you for an exciting sightseeing tour of Udaipur.
City Palace: City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavor of heritage site.Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble. City Palace comprises 11 wonderful palaces, which were built by different rulers still they resemble each other. With the sheer glimpse of unique paintings, antique furniture and exquisite glass mirror & ornamental tiles work of these palaces, you will get amazed. Manak Mahal (Ruby Palace) has figures of crystal and porcelain. However, Bhim Vilas flaunts a fabulous collection of miniature paintings depicting the real life stories of Radha-Krishna.
Saheliyon ki Bari: Garden of maids was built in the 18th century by Maharana Sangram Singh for the royal ladies. Saheliyon Ki Bari is one the most beautiful gardens and a major tourist destination in Udaipur. The garden is famous for its lush green lawns, marble art and fountains. English translation of Saheliyon Ki Bari means "Garden of maids". This renowned garden is located on the banks of Fateh Sagar Lake, presenting a green retreat in the dry lands of Rajasthan. As per the legends, the garden was designed by the king himself and he presented this garden to his queen. Actually, the Queen was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them, pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. This patterned garden used to be the popular relaxing spot of the royal ladies. The Foundation of the Sahelion Ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The queen with her maids and female companions used to come here for a stroll and spend their time in leisure.
Later in the evening you will proceed for the celebration of the festival The Diwali day Lakshmi-Puja is performed in the evenings when tiny diyas of clay are lighted to drive away the shadows of evil spirits, devotional songs- in praise of Goddess Laxmi are sung and Naivedya of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. People wake up at the crack of dawn to conduct the customary pujas. Dressed in brilliant silks and glittering gold jewelry families gather and light crackers to usher in the great evening. After a session of bursting crackers, its time to visit friends and relatives. Armed with sweets and savories people meet their near and dear ones.An exclusive arrangement for you to the home visit and celebrate the festival & Exploring & gateway of local life-enjoy a soul-touching experience.Stay with the families for 03-4 Hrs as their Guests, to know the daily life routines of locals, & and indulge in activities as they do and celebrate the diwali festival . The house would belong to a Nobel Rajput thakur Family .
Rajputs used to be the head of the village & all the settlements were created due to the security provided by the Rajput warriors. The Rajput a warrior race whose kings ruled, till recently, over these lands. The Rajputs served their king, joining their armies, and raising their cavalries, but an attendant pursuit was as agriculturists. Often, they employed labour to work on their extensive fields, and kept cattle for dairy produce.
You will be taken to a local noble family's house and upon on arrival they will be greeted by the chief of house with warmth and affection and will be given a traditional welcome with arti / garland / tikka ceremony. The guests will have an opportunity to interact with Family members to share and under stand their customs and culture. They will come know the day to day routine of women, culture and customs. You will be provided with an opportunity to learn how to tie the Indian woman's dress," the Sari", which is a whole nine yards", and for men turbans etc. Guests will be introduced to the wonders of Rajasthani food.
Overnight will be at Udaipur.
Day 20 : Udaipur
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and later proceed for the sightseeing tour of Udaipur.
Bagore Ki Haveli: Bagore Ki Haveli is an ancient building that stands on the platform of Gangori Ghat in the vicinity of Pichola Lake. The splendid architecture of the mansion boasts of delicate carved work and excellent glass work. In the eighteenth century, Bagore Ki Haveli was built by Amir Chand Badwa, who was the Chief Minister at the Mewar Royal Court in earlier times. When Amar Badwa died, the building came under the possession of Mewar State.In 1878, the Haveli made the abode to Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore, who further incorporated three stories to the main structure. Since that time, the mansion came to be known as Bagore Ki Haveli (Mansion of Bagore). The mansion that used to serve the royalty of Mewar was left vacant for around 50 years.
Jagdish Temple: Jagdish 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. This three-storied temple is a wonder of architecture that comprises beautifully carved pillars, decorated ceilings, painted walls and lush halls. In those times, 1.5 million rupees were spent to raise this structure. The spire of the main temple is around 79 feet high that undoubtedly dominates the skyline of Udaipur. This shikhar (spire) is festooned with sculptures of dancers, elephants, horsemen and musicians making it truly a sight to behold.
Later proceed for an evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. The view from the boat will provide you with an image of this marvelous architectural city as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - which is the other island palace in the middle of the lake.
Return to the hotel and overnight at Udaipur.
Day 21 : Udaipur - Chattrasagar
Distance 270 kms / 5hrs
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Later you will drive Chattrasagar.
Chattrasagar: The fort of Nimaj was built in 1733 by the valiant ruler- Thakur Jagram Singh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is a massive structure built in traditional Rajput style with courtyards and separate wings for men & women. The little township is surrounded by places of historical interest, like the 9th century temple Magar Mandi, 3 kms away. Visit nearby villages to see local craftsmen at work & a little further see blackbucks, blue bulls etc. Lakes in the desert region are a rarity having their own charm. CHATTRASAGAR, 4 km from the fort is a beautiful water body nestled between two hillocks. Built as a summer retreat, the lush green lawn, flowering trees and clear waters are like an oasis in the otherwise dry region. Boating and angling is possible. It is surrounded by lush green fields and vast grazing pastures. Chattrasagar, a hundred-year old reservoir with a periphery of about 10 kilometers, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and a perfect getaway from the chaotic city life. As a hunting preserve of the Nimaj Estate, Chhatra Sagar has witnessed many exciting shikar camps and leisure parties. Today, the campsite, situated on the dam, offers breathtaking views of the sunrise, sunset and the Aravalli ranges on the horizon. The old shooting box - Aodhi has been put to good use as it provides a closer view of the water fowl and birds of prey.
Watch the birds, go for nature walks, soak in the fresh air, sit around the bonfire and listen to old folk lore - or be more adventurous and take one of the many safaris on offer here. Experience the warm hospitality, and enjoy some truly delicious Indian and traditional Rajasthani meals cooked with farm fresh vegetables in the family kitchen. Relax in the tastefully designed and well-appointed tented accommodation. Each tent has an attached bath with running hot and cold water, and its own private sit out overlooking the lake
Overnight will be at the camp.
Day 22 : Chattrasagar
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel rest of the day will be at leisure to relax amidst nature.
Overnight will be at the camp.
Day 23 : Chattrasagar - Jodhpur - Delhi
By Road Distance 100 kms/2 hrs
Jodhpur - Delhi
By Air India flight (1415 hrs. - 1525hrs.)
Enjoy the breakfast at hotel and the morning activities at the camp. Later you will be transferred to the Jodhpur airport to connect flight for Delhi.
On arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel, which will be arranged for some relaxation. Have your dinner and later you will be transferred around midnight to the international airport to connect flight back home .