Rajasthan Heritage Tours >>
Rajasthan Royal Heritage Tours
Duration :- 20 Nights/21 Days
Day 01: Arrive Delhi:
Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our hotel. As India's capital, Delhi is a political and business hub, as well as one of the country's major travel gateways. It also has a throng of semi permanent foreigners who work as news correspondents, at embassies (we can identify a diplomat's car by it's blue number plate), or at other organizations that have foreign associations. Spacious and planned, New Delhi was built as the imperial capital of India by the British while Old Delhi was the capital of the Muslim India between the 17th and the 19th centuries - there is a rich legacy of mosques, and monuments and forts that testifies to this. Delhi hasn't always been India's capital, but it has played a paramount role in Indian history. Many have invaded Delhi through the ages, including the Persian emperor, Nadir Shah, who sacked the city in 1739 and carted the Kohinoor Diamond (now part of the British royal family's crown jewels) and the famous Peacock Thrown off to Iran. The British Captured Delhi in 1803, but during the Indian Uprising of 1857 it was centre of resistance against them. The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India.
Overnight: Hotel in Delhi.
Day 02: Delhi:
We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and the Qutub Minar - a perfect minaret towering 102 meters / 112 yards into the sky. New Delhi is a blend of Moghul India, Hindu India, and British India and certainly of modern independent India. Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort. Built by Shah Jehan, this was once the most opulent fort of the Moghul Empire. Next we visit another Moghul majesty, the Jama Masjid that is India's largest mosque, followed by the Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. We end our tour with a bazaar experience at Chandni Chowk, the street of silver and goldsmiths. Also visit a Kashmiri handicraft emporium where skillful craftsmen from Kashmir will show you how "The World famous Persian carpets" are weaved. These craftsmen have resettled down in Delhi after the uprising in Kashmir and are trying to earn their livelihood.
Overnight: Hotel in Delhi (B).
Day 03: Delhi/Sariska (239 Kms/ 5 Hrs):
An interesting countryside drive conveys us to Sariska. The 765.80 sq. km. Thickly wooded reserve cradled in the picturesque valley of the Aravalis. Established in 1955, it is an excellent tiger sanctuary under the Project Tiger. The dry deciduous forests of the Reserve are noted for their population of tiger, Nilgai, sambhar, cheetah, four horned antelope and wild boar. On arrival in Sariska we check in our hotel "The Sariska Palace". Maharaja Jai Singh built this marvelous palace in the honour of the Duke of Edinburgh during his visit to the sanctuary. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Sariska Palace (B).
Day04: Sariska/ Jaipur: (111 Kms/ 3½ Hrs):
In the morning after tea we visit the Sariska wild life sanctuary by jeeps with our naturalist guide. Later we come back to our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we leave for Jaipur. Jaipur filled with frenetic crowds; Rajasthan's chaotic, dusky - pink capital is a place of wild contrasts, bombarding the senses at every turn. Jaipur old city, it's rich color deepening and fading
according to the light, is lined with long, twinkling bazaars. Like Wacky Races on acid, vegetable - laden camel carts thread their way through streets jam-packed with cars, cows, rickshaws & bicycles. The city owes its name, foundation and careful planning to the great warrior - -astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693 - 1743). On arrival in Jaipur we check in out hotel, rest
of the day is free to relax and to visit the local bazaars of Jaipur.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaipur (B).
A royal experience awaits us as we take an elephant ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we return to Jaipur to visit the old astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Jai Singh. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur. As Jaipur is famous for its jewels (gems cutting and polishing), we will take you to a Gems cutting and polishing center - which has won several awards by Japanese Government & Govt. of India.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaipur (B).
Day 06:Jaipur/Samode (Drive 60 Kms/1½ hr):
After breakfast we proceed to Samode. Samode is situated in the royal Indian state of Rajasthan around 60 kms from Jaipur, the capital city. Located on way to Shekhawati, this small village is famous for its haveli and fort. Samode is connected to Jaipur through a good network of roads. Samode is an ideal desert getaway. On arrival in Samode we check in our hotel Samode Palace. The Samode Palace, now a heritage hotel, is built in the characteristic pattern of an open courtyard with rooms leading off the arched corridor that runs along all the four sides of the building. The Sultan Mahal is on the first floor-an exquisite room with a marble pillared verandah. It has the famous Jaipur blue tile decorations. Every inch of the ceiling and the walls are covered with floral, paisley and geometric motifs painted in vegetable colors. It is called Sultan Mahal after the craftsman, who painstakingly created it. Old and heavy carved silver furniture brought from Nepal by the grandmother of the present Rawal gleam dully in sunlight even today. To the left of the main haveli is the Durbar Hall, which was built about a hundred years ago. Again it is painted with ornate floral motifs and colored delicately with vegetable pigments, which still have a special glow of their own. Later in the day we visit the Samode Fort and Samode Bagh as well as explore the near by surroundings. A real visit to Samode cannot be considered complete without a musical evening of folk dances and songs. Rajasthani bards and musicians with their colorful dresses and unusual musical instruments provide one of the best evenings one can have in India. The instruments include one-stringed fiddles, country violins, bagpipes made out of goatskin, castanets, Jew's harps, and even a one stringed instrument made out of a dried gourd. The villagers sing with plaintive abandon under the faint light of the crystal stars. A musical evening can be arranged at a short notice at the Samode Palace. In the evening we enjoy a Gala welcome dinner with traditional Rajasthani dances.
Overnight: Hotel in Samode (B, D).
Day 07:Samode /Nawalgarh: (Drive 126 km/3Hrs):
In the morning we proceed to Nawalgarh: The heart of Shekhawati. Founded in 1737, by Thakur Nawal Singh, this town boasts of some of the finest frescoes in the Shekhawati region. The town has a colorful bazaar and a fort, new a little disfigured, yet worth of attention. There are numerous havelis; prominent among them are the Aath (eight) Haveli complex, Anaadilal Poddar haveli, Jodhraj Patodia haveli, Bansidhar Bhagat Haveli, Chokhani heavily. On arrival in Nawalgarh we check in our Hotel. Later we visit the havelis of Navalgarh and the Roop Niwas Palace.
Overnight: Hotel in Nawalgarh (B).
Day 08: Nawalgarh/ Mandawa (Drive 40 Kms/ 1 Hr):
Morning is free to explore the surroundings, and then we proceed to Mandawa, ideal location to revisit Rajasthan's rich heritage and culture. Mandawa is an excellent base for exploring the region. It was settled in the 18th century and fulfilled by the dominant merchant families. Mandawa one of the finest of the small towns in the Shekhawati region has royal castle and innumerable Havelis where the painted facades offer a great variety of surprises. On arrival in Mandawa we check in our Heritage Hotel "Castle Mandawa". Castle Mandawa built in 1755, and approached through two gateways mounted with cannons. It is now converted into a Heritage Hotel where dinner is served in the back lawns accompanied by an enchanting fire dance. The castle has a restaurant, and 57 rooms in a variety that ranges from a medley of suites to rooms - not one of them ordinary. Later in the noon we tour Mandawa, famously known as "The Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan" Mandawa is famous for the plethora of plain red havelis, and this rich artistic region known as Shekhawati. Mandawa is an excellent base for those seeking to discover what is known as Havelis at Shekhawati built by rich merchants of the region, display a unique architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to ensure safety and privacy of the women folk and protection from the heat of the long and harsh summers. The havelis, painted predominantly in blue, maroon, yellow green and indigo have beautiful wall paintings that adorn their walls. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the lawn of Castle Mandawa.
Overnight: Castle Mandawa (B, D).
Day 09: Mandawa / Bikaner: (Drive 164km/ 04Hrs):
Today we proceed to Bikaner. This desert city has a stark beauty, which is totally unique. The wide-spread sand dunes, the moonlit glittering beauty and desert agility, the worth-seeing natural sites, the marvelous palaces and temples, wild life sanctuaries and archeological treasures all combine to make this city a place of lasting charm and permanent attraction. Rao Bika a descendant of Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, founded Bikaner in 1488. A high crenellated wall surrounds the old city; it was another important staging post on the great caravan trade routes. This sprawling desert town has a fort with some of the finest interiors in India, and a bustling old walled city encompassing dark-red sandstone havelis and exquisitely painte4d Jain temples. The area is famous for the intricate rich gold painting work by Muslim Usta artisans. The fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aries windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Jaramal Temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. On arrival in Bikaner we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax. In the evening we enjoy dinner with dance performance by the local artists.
Overnight: Hotel in Bikaner (B, D).
Day 10: Bikaner:
After breakfast we tour Bikaner. Architectural wealth of Bikaner lies in its forts, palaces and temples. Areas of interest are Junagadh Fort constructed 1588 to 1593 by Raja Rai Singh. This fort has a 986-meter long wall with 37 bastion & two entrances. Later we visit the Lalgarh Palace, this architectural masterpiece in red sandstone, was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make it a not-to-be missed visual treat. Part of the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and a museum known as Shri Sadul Museum. The museum covers the entire first floor of the palace and houses well preserved old photographs and trophies of wildlife. We also visit the Bhandasar Jain temple (A Beautiful 16th century A.D. Jain Temple dedicated to the 23rd Trithankara, Parsavanathji) & Devi Kund.
Overnight: Hotel in Bikaner (B).
Day 11: Bikaner/Jaisalmer:(Drive 333km/8Hrs):
After an early breakfast we proceed to Jaisalmer en-route visiting the Gajner Palace Situated on the embankment of a lake, approximately 30 kms from the city of Bikaner, Gajner Palace is spread over 6000 acres. The former Maharajas used the Palace as a hunting resort during the days of British rule. Governor General Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India Lord Mount batten, Prince of Wales (1905) and Lord Erwin (1927) are some of the British dignitaries who have visited the palace for shoots. The Palace has a private wildlife sanctuary, which is Home to endangered antelopes (like the chinkara, black buck and neelgai) and other animals. Later on we continue our drive to Jaisalmer - The Citadel City, An architectural dream in the lonely yellow silence of the desert. What could have induced Jaisal, a Bhatti prince, to settle right in the heart of a desolate desert, that too in the 12th century? In the narrow, cobbled alleys of Jaisalmer - no wider than a stretched arm - cluster the havelis or the mansions of the rich, with stone carving and latticed work of breathtaking intricacy. Patwan ki haveli, Nathmalji ki haveli and Salim ki haveli are some of the beautiful mansions. The fort build on the highest point of Tricutta hill is entered through the Suraj Pol or Sun Gate. Jaisalmer's strategic position on the camel train routes between India and Central Asia brought it great wealth. The merchants and townspeople built magnificent houses and mansions, all exquisitely carved from wood and golden sandstone. Jaisalmer looks as if it has grown out of the desert. On arrival in Jaisalmer we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax and to explore the city of Jaisalmer on your own.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaisalmer (B).
Day 12: Jaisalmer:
After breakfast we leave for city tour of Jaisalmer visiting the fort built by Maharawal (Maharaja) Jaisal in 1156 AD- One of the 2nd oldest in Rajasthan situated on triangular Mound 76 meters above ground level. Like a giant sandcastle, the golden fort thrusts skywards out of the surrounding barren landscape. Dubbed the "Golden City" because of its honey color, it is the place that should exist only in the imagination. For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the 'Tales of the Arabian Nights' still enchants. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. We also visit the Jain temple of the 11th century BC, Gadisar Tank - A scenic rainwater lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings, Folk Museum, Patwan ki Haveli the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals, Badal Vilas Palace. We come back to the hotel after sightseeing. In the late afternoon we leave for an excursion to SAM and SAND DUNES. Village SAM 45 kms west of Jaisalmer has a cluster of Sand dunes. These dunes are large extents of shifting sands, the wind heaps the sand into hills or deep hollow scopes vary in size from 3 to 15 km. Adventure freaks can go out on a Camel Safari - getting the real feel of the desert on the camel back. Enjoy the sun set with changing colors in desert.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaisalmer (B).
Day 13: Jaisalmer / Jodhpur (Drive 298km / 8Hrs):
After an early breakfast we proceed to Jodhpur, with its impressive Fort, Royal Palaces and temples, is one of Rajasthan's important cities. Jodhpur is one of the most important cities, lying on the edge of the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan. This region earlier known as Marwar also has Bikaner and Jaisalmer as a part of the Desert Triangle. Rao Jodhaji - Chief of Rathore clan of Rajputs, founded the fortified city of Jodhpur in 1459. On arrival in Jodhpur we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the city of Jodhpur on your own. Overnight: Hotel in Jodhpur (B).
Day 14: Jodhpur:
Today after breakfast we tour Jodhpur. The Blue city, a crazed cubist mass of indigo angles, spreads along the edge of the Great Thar Desert. The old city of Jodhpur is a tangle of winding, glittering streets, scented by incense, roses and sewers, with shops selling everything from trumpets to temple decorations, from snuff to saris. In a vital trade route, the city was built on the profits of opium, sandalwood, dates and copper. Rao Jodha's descendants ruled other princely states as well as Jodhpur. Dominating the city is a massive fortress, safeguarding the Royal palaces with their collections of arms and priceless jewels, the Mehrangarh Fort. We also visit the exquisite Jaswant Thada - A milky white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and the Mandore Gardens. Mehrangarh fort built in 1459 A.D by Rao Jadha raises steeply from a rocky scrap winds Upto the massive gateway with immense portals and enters through the Gate of victory - Jai Pole and Loha Pole Marked with palm prints of 'Sati' (Rajput Ladies immolated themselves on funeral fire of their Husband). We also visit Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, and Rang Mahal with arched windows, chiseled and stone lattice work and exuberance of painted walls and ceiling with miniature paintings, inlay work and mirrors. Next we visit Jaswant Thada: Richly carved white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II which preserves the genealogy of the rulers of Jodhpur along with their life size portraits. Rest of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: Hotel in Jodhpur (B).
Day 15: Jodhpur/Ghanerao: (Drive 208km/5Hrs):
After breakfast we leave for Ghanerao. The small village of Ghanerao is placed in a picturesque forested region. The town, has a number of red sandstone havelis (houses with courtyards), with some old temples, baolis (step wells) and marble chhatris (cenotaphs) scattered about. The old fort lies south of the town and is marked with cannonball scars, a testimony to the wars that were fought here. On arrival in Ghanerao we check in our hotel. Later in the noon we visit the Ghanerao Rawla (castle), a red sandstone castle built in 1627 that served as the Home of the rulers. One has to negotiate a narrow, winding, side scraping road, which leads through the depths of the village, to reach this beautiful castle. The building is designed in the typical Rajput architectural style and here among hunting trophies, Rajput miniature paintings, chandeliered rooms and ancient walls, there is a nostalgic air of past glory and of the royal lifestyle that the Thakur' s led. The charming marble pavilion in a central courtyard of the castle was where palace musicians used to perform. There are faded miniature paintings on the walls and obsolete elephant stables within the grounds. Some of the boundary walls are marked with cannon balls and around the castle are the family cenotaphs of the former rulers, warriors who gallantly upheld their clan.
Overnight: Hotel in Ghanerao (B).
Day 16: Ghanerao/Ranakpur (Drive 60 Kms/ 1½ Hr):
After breakfast we leave for Ranakpur, on arrival in Ranakpur we check in our hotel. Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman, approached when he had the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. These temples were constructed in the AD 1439. 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 Kilograms whose sound echoes in the entire complex. On arrival in Ranakpur we check in our hotel Fateh Bagh Palace - A Heritage hotel. Later in the noon we visit the famous Jain temples in the lovely Aravalli range northwest of Udaipur. It has a serene location, grand structure and beautiful sculptures. The intricate carvings on its 200 marble pillars are wonders of art and craftsmanship and no two pillars are alike.
Overnight: Fateh Bagh Palace (B).
Day 17: Ranakpur/ Udaipur: (Drive 90km/2Hrs):
No city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur. Misty ochre-shadowed hills and pale, intricate buildings encircle the mirror glass of Lake Pichola. If Jaipur is a study in pink then Udaipur is a vision in white. The City of Dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Eight marble porticos mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor. Within the City Palace are several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. The most memorable parts of Udaipur are its lake palaces, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan when he was in exile following a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jehangir. On arrival in Udaipur we check in our hotel. Later in the noon we tour Udaipur with its intricate countryside, patios and balconies, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari or the Garden of the Maids of Honor, Jagdish Temple and the Gulab Niwas Garden are the highlights. Lake Pichola: Created artificially at the end of the 14th Century, is a picturesque place with bathing Ghats, temples and palace now converted into a deluxe Hotel called the Lake Palace Hotel. Jag Niwas Palace, also built in the middle of the lake, has a beautifully landscaped garden inside. The parakeets returning to their nests in the early morning, is a spectacular sight from this palace. In the evening we take a cruise at Lake Pichola.
Overnight: Hotel in Udaipur (B)
Day 18: Udaipur/Deogarh: (Drive 135km/3Hrs):
After breakfast we leave for Deogarh. For adventure -seekers, nature-lovers and bird -watchers, Deogarh is the ideal holiday spot. The place here is a fascinating place for those wanting to delve into the history of the state. Deogarh Mahal is an imposing structure built in the 17th century. It stands atop a hill and offers a commanding view of the Aravalli mountain range and the numerous lakes, strewn across the countryside. With its graying battlements, domes, turrets, jharokhas and huge gateways, it is a picturesque sight from the town below.
Overnight: Deogarh Mahal (B).
Day 19: Deogarh/Jaipur/Kanota (Drive: 300 Kms/ 5 Hrs):
After breakfast we leave for Kanota and on arrival check in at the Royal Castle Kanota. Thakur Zorawar Singh the founder of the Kanota city belonged to the Champawat family of Pilwa, an estate of Jodhpur. He came to Jaipur in the year 1869 and joined the Jaipur administrative service. Due to his outstanding abilities as on administrator and sportsman he became a confidant of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh of Jaipur. By the end Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh's reign he had established himself as a prominent noble in the Jaipur state and played very important role in the succession of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh to the throne of Jaipur. He served the Jaipur royal family for 46 years. With a Majestic Durbar Hall, Golden Suite, and a big beautiful garden with a fruit orchard the fortified medieval castle is a magnificent experience. The Castle Library has gold work and unique collection of over 10,000 rare books, manuscripts, miniatures and a very rich (16th Century) armory. There are gardens with fruit orchard and facilities for horse and camel ride at the Royal Castle. Rest of the day is free for relaxation.
Overnight: Royal Castle Kanota (B).
Day 20: Kanota/Agra (239 Kms/ 5 Hrs):
After breakfast we proceed to Agra, en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Capital where phantoms of ancient pomp and splendor fill a deserted city, silent witnesses to a vanished dream. The capital had to be abandoned by the emperor for lack of adequate water supply. The marble tomb of the Saint 'Salim Chisti' and the Bulland Durwaza, the highest gateway in the world, are some of the highlights of the place. Later we continue our countryside journey for Agra. On arrival in Agra, we check in hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a city tour covering Taj Mahal; best described as 'poetry in marble' because of its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Surely it is the greatest monument of love, and truly one of the wonders of the world. We also visit Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, standing opposite the Taj on the banks of the Yamuna River, which contains a wealth of palaces and monuments that recall the days of Mughal splendors Red Fort.
Overnight: Hotel in Agra (B).
Day 21: Agra/Delhi:(Drive 200km/4Hrs):
After breakfast we come back to Delhi en-route visiting Sikandara. On arrival in Delhi we are transferred to international airport to Onward destination.