You will be met on arrival and transferred to your chosen hotel in Delhi. The country's energetic capital, offers a panorama of fascinating but very conflicting images, from the forts, tombs and ruins in Old Delhi to high-rise buildings and stately homes on wide, tree-lined avenues in New Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.
A full day's sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi visiting the mighty Red Fort; Friday Mosque -Jama Masjid; silver street of Chandni Chowk; Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi; The Hindu temple - Birla Mandir; India Gate and Rajpath; Rashtrapati Bhawan - the President's House; Humayun's Tomb; Qutab Minar - a 73m high victory tower and the Bahai Temple - beautifully shaped to resemble a lotus flower. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 03 - Drive Delhi to Samode (220 kms/04 hrs) samode, Tour to Grandeur of Rajasthan
Your actual Rajasthan holiday begins today, with the drive to Samode where you spend a night at Samode Palace, one of India's most charming and romantic hotels and awarded as the Best Heritage Hotel in the country for 5 consecutive years. The Palace has been meticulously restored offering a retreat into an aesthetically beautiful environment where visitors can enjoy India's natural beauty and rich history. Enjoy the remainder of the day browsing over the Palace and taking a walk in the nearby village.
This morning drive to Mandawa, a small beautiful town, situated in the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Your overnight stay is at Castle Mandawa - an ideal base from which to discover the legacy of 18th Century frescoes that adorn the Havelis of this storybook town. With canopied balconies and turreted battlements the Castle offers modern comforts with an old world charm. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Mandawa visiting the Aath Haveli complex, Anandilal Poddar haveli, Bansidhar Bhagat haveli and Chokhani haveli. The highlight of your stay is a royal repast where guests dine under the stars entertained by a Rajasthani fire dancer.
Day 05 - Drive Mandawa - Bikaner (190 kms/04 hrs.) Grandeur of Rajasthan
The next stop on your Rajasthan tour is Bikaner, popularly called camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. Freshen up at your hotel and then head out to see the sights beginning with a visit to Junagarh Fort. Junagarh boasts an extravagantly decorated interior, with gold-leaf paintings, stained-glass windows, carved balconies, delicate lattice work and lacquered doors. You will also visit Deshnok's Karni Mata Temple and a camel breeding farm - the only one of its kind in Asia.
Day 06 - Drive Bikaner to Jaisalmer (330 kms/06 hrs.)
Drive to Jaisalmer, a fascinating city on the very edge of India, it rises from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage. You will be delivered to your chosen hotel and the afternoon is free for wandering or relaxing.
The day starts with sightseeing. The Jaisalmer Fort is considered the world's oldest living fort, and is perhaps the only fort where a medieval pattern of life still prevails. A walk through the narrow lanes of the Jaisalmer Fort, with temples and bazaars all around, is said to be the highlight of a Rajasthan tour. Visit Gaddisagar Lake and view several intricately carved and sculptured havelis (merchant's homes) around the fort. In the evening head out to Sam sand dunes and take a short camel ride to witness the incredible sunset over vast stretches of sand. Overnight in Jaisalmer.
Day 08 - Drive Jaisalmer to Rohet (285 kms/06 hrs)
Your drive to Rohet takes you via Jodhpur; enjoy a short sightseeing tour visiting the Mehrangarh Fort, The Jaswant Thada and The Sardar market. Continue to Rohet, a quaint village in the Marwar region. Spend 2 nights at Rohetgarh - the fortified home of the descendants of the 16th century Rathore, that now offers guests the warmth of Rajput hospitality.
Enjoy a village jeep safari and be introduced to the local cultures and traditions. Your Rajasthan holiday gives you a chance to learn a little of the various communities living in the area - the Bishnois, protectors of nature for five centuries and arguably the world's first ecologists, responsible for the survival of species such as the black-buck antelope: the semi nomadic Raika shepherds of Marwar whose brilliant crimson and marigold costumes would put modern designers to shame: the Paliwals and the Meghwals, the farmers and weavers. See village artisans at work creating leather articles, pottery and woven handicrafts. Besides being home to three species of antelope the chinkara, the blue bull and the black-buck-Rohet is also a haven for bird watchers with up to two hundred domestic and migratory species.
Drive to Udaipur, the famed "city of sunrise" also called the Venice of the East. On arrival, check in at your chosen hotel. Evening boat cruise on Lake Pichola - the shimmering waters of the Lake combined with the City Palace and the Lake Palace buildings in the background, serve as a magical way to end your day in Udaipur.
Day 11 - In Udaipur Mysore, Tour to Deccan Plateau Tour India
A half day's sightseeing tour of Udaipur visiting the opulent City Palace - towering over the lake, this is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The Jagdish Temple enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the universe and Saheliyon ki bari is a small ornamental garden with fountains, stone elephants and a delightful lotus pool. Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 12 - Drive Udaipur to Deogarh (140 kms/03 hrs)
Drive to Deogarh, where the beautifully restored Deogarh Mahal is your home for the night. On arrival, in the heart of the Aravalli Hills, check in to Deogarh Mahal one of the finest heritage hotels of Rajasthan. Rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the surroundings. Overnight in Deogarh.
Day 13 - Drive Deogarh to Pushkar (135 kms/03 hrs) Mysore, Tour to Deccan Plateau Tour India
Drive to Pushkar, one of Hinduisms most holy places, known for the sacred lake at its heart and home of the only Brahma Temple in the world. The famous Pushkar Fair is held here every year during November. The Fair is a gathering for farmers and sellers of camels, cattle and horses but it attracts games, races, local folk dances and other entertainment. Spend a night at Pushkar Palace and enjoy browsing the towns narrow streets and bazaars at your own pace.
Drive to Jaipur, Rajasthan's capital and it's largest city, painted pink to welcome Prince Albert in 1853, and pink still. On arrival, check in at your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the surroundings on your own.
Day 15 - In Jaipur Mysore, Tour to Deccan Plateau Tour India
A full day of sightseeing in Jaipur includes the Amber Fort, 11 kms from the city. The Fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture and you can ride to its lofty heights on a gaily-bedecked elephant. The Elephant ride at Amber Fort, is said to be the highlight of any Rajasthan tour package. Returning to Jaipur, visit the museums, palaces and halls of the City Palace (still a royal residence) and the Palace of the Winds. At the Jantar Mantar Observatory, learn how it was constructed to measure 'the harmony of the heavens', a concept dear to Hindus as they believe their fated souls move to its rhythms.
Day 16 - Drive Jaipur to Neemrana (140 kms/2.5 hrs)
Drive to Neemrana, the last stop on your Rajasthan holiday, to spend a night at this most elegant and historic heritage hotel. Located on a majestic plateau, in the Aravalli ranges, this 15th century architectural gem is one of India's oldest heritage buildings and a lovely place to indulge in an aruerveydic treatment or some gentle yoga. Overnight in Neemrana.