Full city tour of New Delhi whose colonial architecture evokes the bygone days of Empire. We visit the Tomb of the Mughal Emperor, Humayun, the fluted tower of the Qutab Minar, and the Quwwat-ul-Islam, the oldest surviving mosque in India, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, we travel by rickshaw to the imposing, Red fort, where in the Palatial, throne room of the Diwan-i-Am, we found ourselves at the heart of the Mughal empire.
Morning drive to Khimsar (275 kms-5 hrs) where we stay at the excellent 15th century Khimsar Fort. Visit the hereby fort of Nagpur where inside the ruined walls lie palaces decorated with fine wall paintings. In the evening we are guests at a special dinner with traditional dancing on the ramparts of the fort.
Depart after breakfast for the drive to Jaisalmer (302 kms-6 hrs) pausing for lunch on route. In the late afternoon the honey coloured walls of the fort emerge from the shimmering desert Jaisalmer is Rajasthan's most enchanting destination, an oasis of colour, ancient palaces and delicately sculpted houses. Afternoon free to relax.
Jaisalmer A day of discovery in the old citadel of Jaisalmer. In the winding streets we wander between the havelis, with their beautifully carved fretwork and jali screens, and the equally stunning Jain temples. We visit the old palace of Maharawal painted in extravagant Rajput style. In the late afternoon we relax at the oasis which led to the foundation of the city, Gadi Sagar, and explore the Royal cenotaphs at Bada Bagh before enjoying the desert sunset.
Drive to Osian (260 kms-6 hrs) an ancient town in the Thar Desert, where we stay amongst the dunes at the Osian Camel Camp in fully equipped tents. In the late afternoon we saddle up for a camel safari into the desert, arriving at a small rural village to watch the local potter and weaver, before heading back to our tents. Dinner is under a canopy of stars.
From the tranquil sands of Osian we head south by road to Jodhpur (58 kms-1 hrs) arriving in time for lunch at the magnificent Umaid Bhawan palace. Later we explore the Meherangarh fort from whose ramparts we can enjoy stunning view of the winding lanes and famous blue houses of the city. Overnight at hotel.
On our journey south to Udaipur (259 kms-6 hrs) we visit the remote Kumbhalgarh fort whose impregnable walls dominate the surrounding countryside. We lunch at the secluded Aoudhi Retreat. As we approach Udaipur the landscape softens with tranquil lakes and green hills. Check into the hotel.
Udaipur - Jaipur A quite morning to explore Udaipur before our afternoon flight to Jaipur, where 'pink' is the colour of welcome. The afternoon is free to relax or to visit the local bazaar, famous for its textiles, Rajput miniatures, precious stones and wide range of local handicrafts.
Travel out of Jaipur to Amber, home to a fabulous fort and palaces, where we ascend to the battlements by elephant. From the maharaja's apartments we can enjoy panoramas of the Rajasthani countryside. In the afternoon we return to Jaipur to visit the sprawling city palace, the magnificent Hawa Mahal and the 18th century observatory.
Our morning starts at the formidable Agra Fort, with its impressive imperial quarters and marbled apartments, before visiting the more intimate tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah. The climax of our visit to Agra is the enchanting Taj Mahal.Drive back to Delhi and checkin to hotel ( 203 kms / 4 hrs).