Day 01 Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be received by a DestinAsia Journeys representative and escorted to the hotel. You are welcomed in the hotel in a Traditional Indian style on arrival and check into the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02 Delhi
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for city sightseeing tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi.
Old Delhi came into prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. You visit 300 year old Chandni Chowk market. Enjoy a short rickshaw ride through a maze of lanes crowded with shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and food, the noise and crowds are a quintessential part of any Indian market. From here you continue to the Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque. This is India’s largest mosque designed by Shah Jahan. In complete contrast to the noise and crowds of Old Delhi, is Raj Ghat a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the main architect of India’s independence.
During afternoon, we drive past India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House. Later, we take our tour of New Delhi and visit Humayun’s Tomb built by mother of Emperor Akbar. It is believed that it was this mausoleum, which inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. From there our next stop is Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret of India. Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 metre high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has a total of five distinct storeys. We return to hotel for overnight stay.
Kingdom Of Dreams, Premier Class
Visit Kingdom of Dreams, a spectacular world of unparalleled imagination, which brings to you a blend of India’s culture, heritage, art, crafts, cuisine and performing arts buttressed with the mind boggling technological wizardry of today. Experience the Bollywood Musical Show followed by dinner.
Day 03 Delhi – Mandawa (320 Kms / 6 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive to Mandawa, often called – the open air art gallery of Rajasthan.
Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
In the afternoon we tour Mandawa – a small town, with many Havelis and temples. The Havelis, mansions of the erstwhile rich Marwari traders were profusely frescoed inside and outside and some of these are still in good shape. We stop by to visit some of these havelis with fresco painting and walk in the nearby villages. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
We return to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04 Mandawa – Bikaner (180 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive to Bikaner, upon arrival check in to hotel.
In the afternoon, we visit Junagarh Fort, built by Raja Rai Singh in the 16th century; the palaces were added to it over the next three centuries. The outer wall, built of light red sandstone is surrounded by a moat, and within are beautifully designed palaces with balconies, kiosks, fine jali or lattice work screens with richly decorated interiors. The Badal Mahal in the fort has walls covered with stories from the life Krishna, whilst the walls of the oldest palace, the Lal Niwas, are elaborately decorated in red and gold.
We return to hotel for overnight stay
Day 05 Bikaner – Jaisalmer (330 Kms / 6 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for the medieval town of Jaisalmer. Check in at the hotel upon arrival. Rest of the day is for independent activities. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Day 06 Jaisalmer
After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for the city tour of Jaisalmer. Founded by Prince Jaisal in 1156, it was a major staging post on the trade route across the Thar Desert. The first glimpse of the honey colored walls of the fort, rising out of the hot and barren desert is magical. Untouched by time, Jaisalmer, with its golden crenulated walls, narrow streets lined with exquisite havelis, has a medieval ambience. The fort, often referred to as the “Golden Fort’ because of the color of the stone, encloses palaces decorated with delicate jali or lattice worked screens, carved doors and flora carvings, and elaborately carved 12th to 16th century Jain temples.
The havelis in both the fort and the town are exceptional. Similar in style to the homes of Venetian merchants, the havelis were the mansions of wealthy traders. The houses are decorated with beautifully carved facades, screens and windows. Each haveli has an inner courtyard surrounded by richly decorated apartments. See the Nathmalji-ki-Haveli with its beautiful arched roof with carved brackets in the form of peacocks; Patwon-ki-Haveli, the most elaborate and magnificent haveli and best known for its latticed façade and Salim Singh ki Haveli. Outside the walls of the fortified town is the small oasis of Gadi Sagar, which led Prince Jaisal to found his city. It is well worth visiting to see the large number of shrines around it and the migratory birds, which it attracts.
Later in the day we proceed for excursion of “Sam Dunes”, 45 km away is known for its enormous sand dunes that make a surrealistic landscape patterned by the wind. This excursion also includes the unique experience of Camel Ride. We return to the hotel late evening for overnight stay.
Day 07 Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (300 Kms / 07 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive to Jodhpur, upon arrival check in to hotel.
Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
OPTIONAL INSPIRING EXPERIENCES
Vintage Car Ride to Explore Market
Relive the bygone era of the erstwhile Maharajas and ride on 1947 Buick Super Eight. The Royal Vintage Car will take you to Umaid Bhawan Palace & Sardar Market.
Day 08 Jodhpur – Udaipur (270 Kms / 6 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Udaipur en route visit Ranakpur Jain temples built in the 15th century. They are situated in the lovely Aravali valley. The town is named after Rana Khumba the legendary warrior king of Udaipur. Its surroundings are peaceful and picturesque. The Ranakpur Jain temples have grand structure and beautiful sculptures. There are 1444 pillars in the main temple and no two of them are similar.
After the visit, continue our drive to Udaipur and check-in at hotel upon arrival. Overnight is at the hotel.
Day 09 Udaipur
After having breakfast is at the hotel, we take the morning city tour of Udaipur with its lakes and palaces, cradled in the hills of the Aravalli range making it a very romantic city. The name itself “The City of sunrise” evokes a sense of romance. We first visit the City Palace – the focal point of the city and has several areas of interest like the Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Mor Chowk (the peacock courtyard), and the Zenana Mahal.
Next we visit the Jagdish Temple, located close to the Palace with its imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. Finally, stop by to visit Sahelion ki Bari or Garden of Maids; built under the express guidance of Maharana Sangram Singh II, it is believed that the garden was constructed for 48 maids who accompanied the Maharaja’s wife as dowry.
Afternoon, we take a boat ride at Lake Pichola, 4-Km long and 3-Km broad, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace, Jag Mandir that is beautifully set in the lake and enjoy hi-tea with the sun setting in the background. Return to the hotel after the visit. Overnight stay is at the hotel.
Optional Inspiring Experiences
Sound and Light Show at City Palace
If you are a first time visitor to City Palace in Udaipur, we recommend that you visit the palace late afternoon and stay back till evening for a spectacular sound and light show at Manek Chowk inside the palace complex. As the evening dawns, the show brings alive the rich splendor of Mewar and takes you on a journey of glorious history of the dynasty which produced many powerful and respected rulers. The 12 episode show with English sub-titles is scripted by famous writer Pandit Narendra Mishra, the official poet of the House of Mewar and opens with a welcome speech by Shri Arvind Singh Ji Mewar. The show promises an audio-visual treat to the overseas and domestic visitors alike who get a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. It is a delight to watch the city palace which shines in all its glory as the evening lights are switched on with mesmerizing sound effects.
Day 10 Udaipur – Barli (225 Kms / 4 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel we will leave for Barli. In Barli we will be staying at Fort Barli, a luxury heritage hotel with its own distinctive character, it revives the gracious lifestyles of India’s legendary Rajput princes. This royal heritage fort hotel combines classic heritage with contemporary elegance and is fast becoming the discerning traveller’s ideal getaway.
In the afternoon we will take a tour of the Fort in order to introduce you all with the Rajput art and architecture associated with the age old monument. You will be shown both the Mardana (male) and Zenana (female) sections, the Armory, the treasury, the assembly halls, the revenue stores and the every area of specific utility in the bygone era.
After visit the fort we embark on a Bullock Cart Safari. You will be made to sit on a comfortable and well adorned, cushiony bullock cart and taken to the village to explore rural life from close quarters. There is a lot which you will be seeing like the colorful markets, visit to age old cenotaphs (memorial of its rulers) with fresco paintings depicting mythology, viewing pottery manufacture, visiting ongoing village school, exploring a rural house and interacting with people whose hospitality for you is at an epitome. The safari also includes visit to a temple with fine mirror work (shishmahal). Not the least fascinating will be your visit to a craftsman house where you get to see leather work at its function. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 11 Barli – Jaipur (180 Kms / 3 Hrs)
Have a sumptuous breakfast, proceed for the road trip to Jaipur. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. Later tour the city like a local in a rickshaw. Cruise around the old city with its colourful shops, latticed windows houses and rose pink colour streets. Witness the architectural marvels, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed men and women, visit historic private havelis decorated with fine frescoes and chat with the residence over a cup of Chai.
This tour of Walled City takes you to some offbeat and awe-inspiring places which are hidden behind the hustle bustle and modern structures of the Pink City. Our carefully designed Rickshaw tour is great way to explore the hidden treasures of Jaipur city.
After the rickshaw tour you will be taken to a home of an Indian family and you have the opportunity to dine and taste the hospitality of the locals in their private home. Your hosts will go an extra mile to teach you how to cook traditional Mewari food and will charm you with stories of the royal splendor of Pink City over dinner. The interactive cooking sessions are usually elementary and carefully planned keeping in mind the comfort level of the guests.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 12 Jaipur
After breakfast we leave for excursion to Amber Fort. A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride (subject to availability) all the way up to the Fort entrance. This journey on caparisoned elephants is bound to enrich your memories with the Royal lifestyle of the Maharajas and leave you with a truly unforgettable experience. Amber is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory.
While coming back from the fort we will make a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds. Later, we visit Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers.
Next we visit Jantar Mantar. It is one of the largest stone and marble crafted observatories in the world built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. We finish our city tour with a walk through the busy lanes of the city. In the evening, feel like a local as you watch a Bollywood flick at a theatre designed in art deco style.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 13 Jaipur – Agra (265 Kms / 05 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Agra en route visit Fatehpur Sikri; the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who blessed Akbar and prophesized the birth of three sons to the heirless Emperor. The emperor used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital and the city was fully occupied for 14 years but slowly became deserted and ruined after Akbar left the city. Scarcity of water was the prime factor for the abandonment of this beautiful city. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the ‘Ghost City’ including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power. Continue drive to Agra. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
Late afternoon we will drive to Mehtab Bagh. The flowers here are lovely (depends upon season) and it makes the perfect vantage point to view Taj Mahal during sunset. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Optional Inspiring Experience
While staying in Agra, you cannot afford to miss “Mohabbat–the–Taj Show” which is a musical extravaganza depicting the saga of one its kind love story of Muhgal Emperor Shah Jahan and his most beloved wife Mumtaz. The show comes alive every evening at the Kalakriti Auditorium and enthralls the audience with its heart rendering dialogues and dance performances which transport you to the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan who immortalized his love by building Taj Mahal in the fond memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This exceptionally inviting event brings alive the historical legacy of India which is truly admired by the overseas visitors who visit the country to experience its diverse cultural heritage.
Day 14 Agra – Delhi (204 Kms / 3.5 Hrs) – Journey back home
Today we will do the sightseeing of Agra at a very relaxed pace. After breakfast we leave by Tonga (Horse Carriage) to reach (till Taj Khema Hotel) the world famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday), built by Shah Jahan in 1632 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 22 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’.
Next we tour Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 & 1573, which reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. This fort palace was begun by Akbar as a purely defensive citadel and was subsequently completed by two successive generations that added the delicate mosaic and magnificent marble palaces. The fort is the history of Mughal life in Agra and offers a magical view of the Taj Mahal.
After the visit, during late afternoon you check out we drive to Delhi, upon arrival at Delhi met and greeted by a DestinAsia Jouneys representative and transferred to the Delhi international airport to board your onward flight to home.
OPTIONAL INSPIRING EXPERIENCE
Roughly 600 meters north-east to Taj lies ravenous reserve forest which provides a unique opportunity to view Taj. Amidst natural environs the Taj can be viewed in different hues and shades from the mounds of this forest reserve. Every mound in this forest is correlated to the historical, literary and cultural heritage of the Brij-bhumi.
The best part of this walk is that one can get to view birds in plenty. Birds such as Common Babblers, Blue Throated Barbets, Baya, Blue Bearded Bee-Eater, Bee-Eater, Red Vented Bulbul, Coot, Little Cormorants, Sarus Crane, Jungle Crow, Crow Pheasant, Ringdove, Black Drongo, Brahminy Duck /Ruddy Shelduck, Pintail, Hoopoe, Black Ibis, White-breasted Kingfisher, Black-winged Kite, Lapwing, Common Moorhen, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Peafowl, Great White Pelican, Blue Rock Pigeon, Common Pochard, Dusky Redshank, Openbill Stork, Common Teal, Treepie, Lesser Golden Backed Woodpecker and Marsh Sandpiper are on display.