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This stunning luxury India holiday gives you an opportunity to visit Rajasthan’s most famous cities, plus you’ll get off the beaten track as you explore rural villages and interact with the locals. You’ll discover ancient forts, historical palaces, colourful cities and spectacular countryside, and you’ll stay in some truly breathtaking heritage hotels along the way. You will have your own personal driver throughout, and local guides will bring your sightseeing to life with their local knowledge and charming demeanours. This itinerary gives you a flavour of what's possible and allows you to combine the key highlights of Rajasthan with some remote hidden gems. Contact our India specialists to speak to someone who's been there and to design your own bespoke India tour now.
On arrival in Delhi, you will be met at the airport by a representative and transferred to your hotel right in the heart of New Delhi.
This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore the sights of Connaught Place, including the bazaars and stalls, the vintage cinemas, Art Today, the Dhoomimal Art Centre, the Hanuman Temple, Jantar Mantar, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.
Today you will have the opportunity to see the contrasts of Old and New Delhi with an English-speaking guide. In the morning, you’ll visit one of the largest mosques in India, Jama Masjid, followed by a rickshaw cycle tour of Old Delhi, where you can explore the winding alleys of the famous Chandni Chowk Bazaar area.
Later in the afternoon, you’ll explore New Delhi, including Humayun's Tomb, Qutab Minar and Lutyens' Delhi, an area named after the British architect Edwin Lutyens who was responsible for much of the architectural design and building when India was part of the British Empire in the 1920s and 1930s.
After breakfast, you’ll leave Delhi, and you’ll be driven south towards the 16th-century city of Agra (the drive takes approximately five hours). This afternoon you’ll have a private guided walk around Agra's impressive sights, including the spectacular Agra Fort, a fortress, palace and prison built of red sandstone by Emperor Akbar in 1565 and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.
Just before sunset, you’ll visit India’s most famous building, the iconic Taj Mahal. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife.
This morning you’ll be driven to the magnificent fortified ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, 40km west of Agra. This city was the short-lived capital of the Mughal empire between 1572 and 1585, during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Earlier, Akbar had visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When the prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque still in use today and three palaces, one for each of his favourite wives – one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. The city was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but it was built in an area that suffered from water shortages, so it was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death.
After exploring Fatehpur Sikri, you’ll continue on to Ramathra Fort, where you’ll stay for the next two nights. This spectacular heritage hotel is a 350-year-old fort which has been brought back to life by the current owners, whom you will meet when you stay here. You’ll either sleep under canvas in a luxury spacious tent or in a luxury suite or deluxe room in the old fort.
Today you’ll have a full day to explore the stunning area surrounding Ramathra Fort. Activities include guided tours to Ramathra village, treks to old forts, visits to nearby temples, nature walks, jeep safaris across the Daang Plateau, and sunset boat rides. Your stay at Ramathra Fort offers a wonderful opportunity to gain insight into rural India.
This morning you’ll leave Ramathra Fort and you’ll be driven to Bhainsrorgarh, stopping in the town of Bundi for lunch. Bundi is of particular architectural note for its ornate forts, palaces, and stepwell reservoirs known as ‘baoris’. This sleepy town has some magnificent monuments depicting its past glory. The Taragarh Fort is the most impressive of the city's structures. It was constructed in AD 1354 on the top of a steep hillside overlooking the city. The largest of its battlements is the 16th-century bastion known as the Bhim Burj, on which was once mounted a particularly large cannon called ‘Garbh Gunjam’ or ‘Thunder from the Womb’. The fort contains three tanks which never dry up. The technique with which they were built has been long since lost, but the tanks survive as a testament to the advanced methods of construction and engineering in medieval India.
After visiting Bundi you’ll continue on to Bhainsrorgarh Fort, a stunning heritage hotel dramatically perched over the Chambal River on a steep slate ridge about 200 ft high. Your first glimpse of Bhainsrorgarh Fort will literally take your breath away! The wonderful atmosphere, spectacular views, incredible service and unforgettable gourmet meals have enchanted many visitors since the fort opened to guests in 2006.
Today you’ll have a full day to explore Bhainsrorgarh. You may wish to take an excursion to Bundi Fort; row out to the river island for a picnic lunch, hike to the 9th century Badoli Temples, join a Jeep safari in the Mukundara National Park, or you may be equally content sunbathing on the lawns of the fort or tucked under the Jharoka of your suite with the river, a sublime vision at touching distance.
This morning you will be driven to Bijapur, a castle located in the middle of a large village surrounded by stunning countryside.
Castle Bijaipur was built by Rao Shakti Singhji, the younger brother of the great warrior Maharana Pratap. The castle is located in the middle of a large village and is surrounded by amazing countryside. This afternoon you can explore the local area - you may wish to walk around the village, join a rural safari or go for a bike ride to get a glimpse into rural Rajasthan life.
After a leisurely morning, you will be driven to Udaipur, stopping to visit Chittorgarh Fort on the way.
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, once the capital of Mewar, was ruled initially by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of ChattariRajputs, from the 7th century until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct, with an evocative history, is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. These monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.
Though the entire state of Rajasthan is teeming with spectacular hilltop fortresses, exotic fairytale palaces and legends of medieval chivalry and heroism, no city is quite as romantic as Udaipur. Often referred to as the 'City of Lakes’ due to the three huge lakes within its limits, Udaipur has a large number of impressive palaces and other monuments which we well worth visiting. Udaipur is surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains, where wildlife still abounds.
This morning you’ll have a guided tour of the city, and you’ll visit City Palace, Sahelion-ki-Bari and Jagdish Temple. The huge City Palace, towering over Lake Pichola, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It is a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal-inspired decorative art on the inside. The beautiful gardens of Sahelion-ki-Bari were laid out in the mid-18th century for a retinue of forty-eight young ladies-in-waiting that were sent to Udaipur as part of a princess's dowry. The gardens have beautiful lawns, lotus pools, marble pavilions and marble elephant-shaped fountains. Situated close to the City Palace is the Jagdish temple in Indo-Aryan style. It enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, the creator of the universe.
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Chanoud Garh, a charming heritage hotel in rural Rajasthan. Later in the afternoon, you will be taken on a jeep drive into the countryside. You will drive through the Rabbari villages, and you’ll see cattle herders returning home after a day of grazing the cattle, and then you’ll continue on to the nearby Salt Lake.
After a leisurely breakfast today, you will be taken on a walking tour of the village. Here you’ll see the Rabbari villagers starting their day, cooking food, tending to cattle, children getting ready to go the school, etc, and you will get a true sense of the village going through its daily routine. If the school is open today, you will also get to visit the village school and interact with the children. While you may walk through the village or take a bullock cart which the children will love. Return to the hotel in time for lunch.
The rest of the day may be spent in leisure, or you may go to a nearby hill for some hiking. From the top of the hills, the views of the countryside are amazing.
This morning you will be driven to Jodhpur, once the capital of the Marwar State and a major trade centre in the 16th century due to its location on the ancient silk route.
Later in the afternoon, you will be taken into the city for a guided tour, visiting the Mehrangarh Fort, the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) and Sadar Market.
Today you will be driven to the colourful city of Jaipur. On arrival, you’ll immediately understand the reasoning behind the name - every building within the walled centre is painted a terracotta ‘pink’ colour, and there are few exceptions to this colour scheme.
Today you’ll have an opportunity to discover the vibrant city of Jaipur.
We recommend a walking tour through the busy, bustling streets, which are packed with cars, camels, rickshaws and bicycles. You can explore the city's crowded bazaars, where locals sell beautiful handcrafted textiles, folk art, and semi-precious stones. Expect to see Rajput men wearing traditional colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches.
You’ll also have a chance to visit the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds', plus you can visit one of India’s finest palaces, Jaipur's Royal City Palace or the fascinating Jantar Mantar Observatory, to see the collection of astronomical instrument sculptures.
Today you’ll have a free day to explore vibrant Jaipur with a car and driver at your disposal. We recommend that you visit the ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ Amber Fort, which is located on the hills of the Aravalli, 11 km outside the city.
This magnificent fortress, built in the 16th century, comprises hundreds of now-empty dungeons, chambers, servants' quarters, halls for private and public audiences, and lovely enclosed gardens with charming water features. A maze of passages connects the different sections of the palaces, leading you through glittering halls of mirrors.
Today you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Delhi in time to board your international flight home.