Rajasthan Heritage Tours >>
Royal Rani Tour
Duration :- 20 Nights/21 Days
Day 01: Arrival Delhi:
Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Delhi (B).
Day 02: Delhi:
After breakfasts proceed for a Full-day tour of Old & New Delhi. 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. 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/ Agra (Drive 200 km/04 Hrs):
Today we leave for Agra- Home of the world-famous TAJ MAHAL. On arrival in Agra we check in our hotel. Later we visit historic monument Taj Mahal, best described as 'poetry in marble' because of its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaj 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. Agra is famous for it's inlay work on marble, later we visit some of the local factories in Agra to see, how the inlay work on marble in done. Rest of the day is free for relaxation.
Overnight: Hotel in Agra (B).
Day 04: Agra/Jaipur (Drive 232 km/05 Hrs):
After breakfast we leave for Jaipur en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Capital where phantoms of ancient pomp and splendour 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. From here we continue our journey to 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 if time permits.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaipur (B).
Day 05: Jaipur:
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/Jaipur (Drive 60 Kms/1½ Hrs, one way):
Today we leave for an excursion to Samode palace. 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 Jaipur (B).
Day 07: Jaipur/Ajmer/ Pushkar (Drive 145 km/02 Hrs):
After an early breakfast we drive to Pushkar en-route visiting Ajmer. Ajmer, located 135 km southwest is the most sacred of all Muslim places of pilgrimage in India. Ajmer is a green oasis on the shore of Ana Sagar Lake, hemmed in by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer has always had great strategic importance. Ajaipal Chauhan founded it in 7th century. He named it Ajaimeru the 'invincible hill', because here he raised Taragarh, India's first hill fort. The city's Muslim history began when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Ajmer to Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1193 A.D. The Persian saint Khawaja Muin-ud-din Chisti who came with Muhammad Ghori from Persia in 1192 settled here. Thus the place where he was buried is today known as the Dargah Sharif. Humayun completed construction of the shrine and the Nizam of Hyderabad added the gates. Later Shah Jahan constructed a mosque of white marble; it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. Beyond the Dargah is the Adhai din ka Jhonpra an ancient Sanskrit college, which was converted into mosque in 1198 and remains one of the finest monuments of medieval India. Later proceed to Pushkar. Pushkar is famous for its colorful 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 colorful confusion when the desert tribes and camel caravans meet to trade cattle, camels, goat, sheep, clothes, jewellery and spices. Upto 2,00,000 traders and 50,000 cattle pour into town, along with numerous festooned camels and colorful pilgrims. After 10 hectic days of livestock dealing, camel racing and colorful festivities, everybody goes for a big holy dip in the lake on the night of the full moon (Kartik Poornima) and perform rituals in its waters to the accompaniment of temple & folk music. Upon arrival in Pushkar - check into the Hotel
Overnight: Hotel in Pushkar (B).
Day 08: Pushkar/Udaipur:
After Breakfast we leave for Udaipur If Jaipur is a city 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. On arrival in Udaipur we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax and to explore the city of Udaipur on your own.
Overnight: Hotel in Udaipur(B).
Day 09: Udaipur:
Today we tour Udaipur, Our visit includes the City Palace, 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. Saheliyon Ke Bari or the Garden of Maids and the folklore museum where you can see a presentation of the string puppet show typical to this area. In the evening we take a boat cruise at lake Pichola. We also visit 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.
Overnight: Hotel in Udaipur (B).
Today we take an excursion to Eklingji (22 kms) & Nathdwara (48 kms). Eklingji is located about twelve miles to the North of Udaipur in Rajasthan. Eklingji (Lord Shiva) whose temple is located here is said to be the guardian deity of Mewar. The temple occupies an area of about 2500 sq. feet and is about 65 feet in height. The temple area is a well fortified and a strong wall runs around it. The main entrance to the temple on the Western side welcomes visitors into a big hall, resting on profusely carved pillars. In this hall, is a silver image of Nandi? There are two more Nandis in the temple; one made of black stone and the other of brass. The presiding deity, of Lord Shiva, was regarded as the virtual ruler, by the Maharajas of Mewar - who considered themselves to be regents (Dewans) under Eklingji. Ekligji (Kailashpuri) is a town situated in a beautiful valley that attracts multitudes of visitors throughout the year.The existing structure is one built out of the ruins of the one previously destroyed. The architecture resembles that of the Jain temples of Gujarat. Shiva is worshipped here as a four faced black marble image, the four faces representing Bhrama facing west, Vishnu facing North, Maheshwar facing south and Surya (Sun) facing the east. The flat top of the composite idol is covered with a Yantra, a mystic symbolic drawing, standing for the ultimate reality. Here, Shiva is worshipped as the Ultimate Reality, the supreme power, and the wholesome one - Parabhrama.Shivratri is the most important religious event, when the image of the deity is bedecked with jewellery and elaborate pujas performed. Later we visit Nathdwara Temples. Nathdwara is one of the prominent pilgrimage shrines of India. The name Nathdwara means 'Gate of the Lord'. The town is situated just 48 km north east of Udaipur in Rajasthan, on the banks of the Banas River. The Nathdwara Temple enshrines Shrinathji - an icon of Lord Krishna, which was originally enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura. The icon was brought to Mewar, for the sake of protection during the period of Emperor Aurangazeb. However the chariot carrying the icon would not be moved any further; hence a temple was established here at Nathdwara with the permission of the Rana of Mewar.
Overnight: Hotel in Udaipur (B).
Day 11: Udaipur/Jodhpur (280Km/7Hrs):
Today we leave for Jodhpur. The blue city, a crazed mass of indigo angles, spreads, along the edge of the Great Thar Desert. Jodhpur's fort, Mehrangarh, towers over the city, perched on a sheer rocky ridge from where the view over the sea of blue buildings is mesmerizing. Traditionally, blue signified the Home of a Brahmin, but these days, non-Brahmins have taken on the practice too.
Overnight: Hotel in Jodhpur. (B)
Today we tour Jodhpur. 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. It's surrounded by 10 km long wall (built about a century after the city was founded) with eight gates. Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as the Rathores. On a vital trade route, the city was built on the profits of opium, sandalwood, dates and copper. Our experience of Jodhpur starts with a visit to Mehrangarh fort, built in 1459 A.D by Rao Jodha, rises steeply from a rocky scrap winds Upto the massive gateway with immense portals and enter 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). Inside the fort there is a series of courtyards and palaces, a deep -terracotta latticed network. They house a museum, with a splendid collection of the trappings of Indian royalty, including some amazing elephants howdahs (essential for glittering processions), miniature paintings and the inevitable Rajput armory and ephemera from ivory inlaid ladies dumbbells to camel bone carpet weights. Later we visit Jaswant Thada This milky - white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a peaceful array of whimsical domes, about 1 km from the fort. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs that stand nearby followed the Cenotaph, built in 1899. Next we visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace from Outside, as this was a part of Heritage Hotel but now closed for Renovation. We will also visit the beautifully landscaped Mandore Garden. (B)
Today we take an excursion tour of Ossian. Ossian is famous for Jain temples. These Jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century. They are beautifully carved and dedicated to Rishabdevji and Sambhavnathji. The Gyan Bhandar, a library containing some extremely old manuscripts, is within the temple complex. In the evening we come back to Jodhpur.
Overnight: Hotel in Jodhpur (B)
After early breakfast we proceed to Jaisalmer - Enroute 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 - On arrival in Jaisalmer we check in our Hotel. Evening is free for relaxation.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaisalmer (B).
Day 15: Jaisalmer:
After breakfast we leave for city tour of 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 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. 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.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaisalmer (B).
Day 16: Jaisalmer:
In the Morning after breakfast 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).
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).
Day 18: 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 19: Bikaner/Mandawa (Drive 164km/4hrs):
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 there walls. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the lawn of Castle Mandawa.
Overnight: Hotel in Castle Mandawa (B).
Day 20:Mandawa/Delhi (Drive 240 km/ 05 Hrs):
Today morning we explore Mandawa & its havelis. Later we proceed to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free for relaxation.
Overnight: Hotel in Agra (B)
Day 21: Delhi/Back Home:
Today we are transferred to International airport in time to connect our flight back Home.