Romance of Rajasthan
Duration : 22 Days / 21 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Ahmedabad - Dungarpur - Udaipur - Ranakpur
- Rohet - Mirvana - Jaisalmer - Sam - Manvar - Jodhpur - Shahpura Bagh -
Shahpura - Ranthambhore - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Day 01: Arrival / Delhi
night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our
representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our
representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the
documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest
is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the
opportunity to serve you!
Overnight at Taj Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 02: Delhi
morning activity begins with the historical part of the city
also known as Old Delhi starting with `Shah Jehanabad' which has
some dramatic remnants of the Mughal Empire in the imposing Red
Fort and Jama Masjid India's largest mosque, built by Emperor
Shah Jehan, creator of the Taj Mahal. You ride rickshaws through
its principal street,
Chandni Chowk, originally renowned throughout the Asia with its
tree-lined canal flowing down its center. These days it's a
bustling jumble of shops, temples, mosques and craftsmen's
workshops of goldsmiths, silversmiths, silk traders and
Explore the hustling and bustling of Old Delhi and streets of
Chandni Chowk sitting in a cycle rickshaw.
Culminate the Old Delhi tour with a photo stop at Raj Ghat the
site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation. Built on the banks of the
Yamuna River, is a simple memorial that marks the spot where
Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in 1948. A pretty park has been
created around the memorial.
Continue on to Explore New Delhi drive through the boulevards
of New Delhi and pass India Gate which is a memorial built to
the 85000 soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan
battles of 1919.
the other end of Rajpath stands the official residence of
India's president, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a complex of
buildings that mix Mughal and Western architectural styles.
Prior to independence, this was the home of India's last
viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. Close by is Sansad Bhavan, the large
though less imposing parliament building.
Lunch will be arranged at 'The Lodi' located next to Lodi
After lunch proceed to visit Qutab Minar, a tower of victory
begun by the Slave Dynasty's founder, Qutb-ud-din-Aybak, in A.D.
1193 and completed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1368. At its base is
India's first mosque, the Might of Islam Mosque, built on the
foundation of a Hindu temple. It was completed in A.D. 1300.
Like the nearly contemporary slave, or Marmeluke, rulers of
Egypt, slave kings of Delhi were anything but servile. The term
simply indicates that they had once been held captives. In a
court awash with intrigue and opportunity, India's Turkish
conquistadors regarded a slave's loyalty as more dependable than
that of their own kin. Purchased, rapidly promoted, eventually
freed, and forever trusted, the erstwhile slave of a royal
patron was ideally placed to act as either power broker or
pretender. His elevated status was equally proclaimed with
monuments. The Qutb Mosque boasts a tower of victory that
doubles as India's, and perhaps Islam's, most massive minaret.
As the afternoon sun recedes, visit the Tomb of the second
Mughal Emperor Humayun, which was commissioned by his senior
wife Haji Begum, in the 16th century. This is an early example
of Mughal architecture. The design elements of this tomb - a
squat building lighted by high arched entrances topped by a
protuberant dome and surrounded by formal gardens, were to be
refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
Overnight at Taj Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 03: Delhi / Ahmedabad (Spice Jet 201 -0615/ 0700 Hrs)
Ahmedabad / Dungarpur (170 Kms)
Early morning transfer
to the airport to board your flight to Ahmedabad
Meeting & assistance upon arrival at Ahmedabad and drive to
Upon arrival check into the Udai Bilas Palace
The history of Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur, Rajasthan dates
from the mid-19th century, when Maharawal Udai Singhji-II, a
great patron of art and architecture built a wing of bluish grey
local stone " Pareva" overlooking the lake and the "
Ek Thambia Mahal," featuring intricate sculptured pillars
and panels, ornate balconies, balustrades, bracketed windows,
arches and frieze of marble carvings, a veritable marvel of
Rajput architecture. The Udai Bilas Palace was enlarged in 1940
by Maharawal Laxman Singhji, who built three new wings around
the " Ek Thambia Mahal" (Literally one- pillared
Palace) and thus created the famous " courtyard of the
palace. The result is an architectural expression exquisitely
detailed. Still the royal residence, the Palace offers
accommodation in the houseguest tradition with seventeen
spacious and lavishly appointed bedrooms. No two rooms are
alike; each room enchants with its own personality, spaciousness
and modern comforts and offers a unique experience. The
Furnishings are mostly from the 20th century art-deco style,
marble bathrooms with English fixtures and running hot and cold
water. Meals are served either in the banquet hall, which
displays crystal chandeliers, or in the more intimate family
dining room. Continental or Chinese dishes are also served.
Overnight at Udaibilas Palace - Heritage Hotel
Day 04: Dungarpur
district is the stronghold of Bheels, a tribe whose history of
occupancy in the Aravalli Range is said to date back to 4000
B.C. They are one of the oldest and most primitive tribes of the
world. This morning we will visit some of these unspoiled Bheel
hamlets in and around the town. We will witness and photograph
age-old tribal lifestyles and customs handed down over the
centuries. You would have an opportunity to meet villagers who
have never seen white people!! Say hello to people, allow them
to get used to you and then, you may go ahead with your
pictures. You would soon end up as the pied piper followed by
scores of noisy and happy children!!!
We return to our hotel by mid morning to enjoy the destination
at leisure. Udai Bilas Palace is a round-the-year paradise for
The cooler months from mid October to February are the best to
see winter migratory birds when birds can be observed in
attractive plumage. One can see from the Palace itself at
remarkably close range egrets, night and pond herons, white
necked and painted storks, coots and winter or resident ducks
among others, depending on the season of your visit. Birds are
also plentiful in the surrounding woodlands where one can hope
to see the Grey Hornbill, Gray Partridge, Green Pigeon, Peafowl,
Peacocks, Paradise flycatcher and the Golden backed woodpecker,
to name a few representative species. You may proceed on a
leisurely walk around the lake or heir boat for a special boat
trip on the lake as well as a gentle trek through the forests so
that the nature lover in you is able to enjoy the beauty of the
place and are able to get a close look at the bird life.
Late afternoon we visit the ancient fortified ruins of the Old
Fort. Besides fine panoramic view of the ancient town of
Dungarpur the fort has well preserved examples of natural colour
paintings and incredible art and architecture.
Overnight at Udaibilas Palace - Heritage Hotel
Day 05: Dungarpur / Udaipur
This morning, we drive
Welcome to Udaipur, the famed "City of sunrise".
Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the
legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A
city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict
code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living.
A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior
state of Rajasthan
Meeting and assistance upon arrival check into the hotel Lake
Palace, which is a palace on an island girdled by hills. Built
on a rocky island over lake Pichola over two and a half
centuries ago, once it was the summer palace of the rulers of
Mewar. Today the pleasure palace is a luxury hotel like no other
in the world. To stay here is an un missable privilege,
affording as it does a glimpse of pleasure that once were the
sole preserve of princes. The Lake Palaces Hotel amazes and
delights you at every turn. It is pure white marble, every
ancient inch of it - slender carved columns, fountains,
filigreed screens, marble from the pinnacles of its domed
Chatris to the bottom of its swimming pool, created for the
private frolics of a princess.
Evening we enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake
Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace
is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas
to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide
interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that
takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its
great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of
Overnight at Lake Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 06: Udaipur
breakfast, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake City".
Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. It is
probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has
some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The huge city palace
towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in
Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of buildings built by
successive rulers, it manages to retain a surprising uniformity
of design and affords very fine view of the lake and the city
from the upper terraces. The Jagadish temple next to the city
palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his
vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a brass image. The
temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan Art.
This afternoon we explore the bustling bylanes of Udaipur which
have artisans practicing their traditional crafts handed down to
them by their elders. Khari printers do decorative floral
patterns in gold and silver on plain or printed fabric. Block
printers print various designs and patterns in different colours
with the help of wooden blocks. You'll also find artisans
carving furniture, making puppets and traditional wooden toys.
Along with engraving and embossing on brass, silver, jewellery,
copper and even pottery, Meenakari is a specialty of this
region. Udaipur also specializes in stone carving, especially in
marble and sandstone, with artisans working hard at chiseling
their finest filigree work. Colour as usual plays an important
role in the life of Udaipur as in Rajasthan. It is wonderfully
evident in ghagharas (long flowing skirts), cholis (blouses),
and odhnis (long scarves) of the women as well as the turbans of
Overnight at Lake Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 07: Udaipur/ Ranakpur / Rohet (240 Kms)
breakfast we ride out to Rohet Enroute we visit Ranakpur.
The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the
liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The
basement is of 48, 000 sq. feet area that covers the whole
complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared
halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns.
The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are
intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically
carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a
height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall,
there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in
the entire complex. The main temple is of Chaumukh or four-faces
temple dedicated to Adinath. From here we continue our ride to
Upon arrival, check into Rohetgarh Fort
At Rohet, one is transported in to a world of the past, a world
of honour and of chivalry, of glory and of pride; a world of
vibrant colours and spectacular magnificence. Past centuries
come to life at the historic boundary walls of Rohet- the 16th
century fortified deserted home of a Rajput clan. Within the
precincts of these time weathered walls is our hotel, the
impressive Rohetgarh Fort- a bastion of proud Rajput traditions
bathed in the ambience of unmistakable Rajasthani culture where
one can, even today experience the famed warm and courteous
Rajput hospitality. Frescoes on the tall gateway, brightly
painted in the traditional style, using traditional motifs and
colour schemes herald your entry to this charmed world the
bygone era. The gateway leads to a compound where a profusion of
flowers frame the archways in welcome. The portico is a warm
and informal place decorated with the artifacts and trophies of
many years. Exquisitely carved furniture, delicate hand block
prints, original paintings and photographs decorate your rooms,
which though redolent with the romance of a bygone era, provide
all the modern amenities. Antique hunting riffles, shields &
spearheads, daggers and original paintings form the backdrop of
the dinning room. The swimming pool here is in beautiful
settings and is an oasis in a dessert.
food at Rohetgarh is special; each recipe is both traditional
and typical, handed down the generations and jealously guarded
to retain its pristine flavours. You savour only the very best
of Rajasthani cuisine's, food favoured by the Royalty. The 16th
century descendants of the Rathore ruling family still live here
and host the guests. The members of the Royal family interact
with the guests and interesting stories and anecdotes are
We would also explore Rohet, which is a fascinating small
feudal town, which seems to be straight out of the Arabian
Nights. There is no proper road here - only one main dust trail.
On either side are typical thatched houses and shops of all
kinds - colourful bangles, silver jewellery, potters, fruit
vendors on carts, dress shops, tailors etc.
Late afternoon we enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of
Rajasthan villages where traditions centuries old still permeate
life styles. One can witness the 'opium ceremony' - a ritual by
which guests are welcomed. Gaily attired men and women carry on
their chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and
customs. The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind
one of the simple and traditional living here.
As evening descends, the darkness of the night is lit up by the
flickering flames of fire around which the rhythmic movements of
the folk dancers assumes shape in brilliant colours; truly an
Overnight at Rohetgarh - Heritage Property
Day 08: Rohet / Mirvana (220 Kms)
breakfast ride out through desert country to Mirvana. For miles
altogether, there is nothing but sand, but from this aridness
one can expect the unexpected as groups of women appear and
disappear in their colourful clothes, apparently going nowhere.
Just as suddenly, medieval cities rise, magnificent for their
architectural heritage, and are just as suddenly lost to sight.
Mirages? No, in the Thar, these are only too real. We will have
opportunities to stop on the way and interact with tribals and
villagers in remote countryside.
Upon arrival check into Mirvana Nature Resort. Escape from the
hustle and bustle and enjoy a delightful stay at Mirvana Nature
Resort, which offers the tranquility of greenery within an
otherwise harsh desert. Mirvana Nature Resort is a perfect place
to experience nomadic desert life at its best.
Evening we visit the nearby Sand Dunes and enjoy camel rides as
we explore desert life in all its peace, tranquility and of
course draped in its colourful richness. We enjoy tea as we
witness the Sun setting in the horizon and camels with their
shepherds forming nice sillouttes in the foreground
Overnight at Mirvana Nature Resort
Day 11: Jaisalmer / Sam / Jaislamer (60 Kms - One Way)
morning we visit the residential portions of the Jaisalmer
Fort., where one third of the population of the old City still
lives. The designs of the houses here remain as they used to a
couple of centuries behind time, and so do the lifestyles of the
people inhabit them. This is so as most of the families continue
to work for generations for the ruler (though only titular now).
Hence, there is a sense of continuity. The houses are arranged
in narrow lanes and have small windows from where the shy child
or the girl peeps through. This city is believed to be the home
of the most handsome men and the most gorgeous women in
Rajasthan. We would also walk through the narrow cobbled lanes
of the golden sandstone city to witness the magnificent medieval
Indian Havelis (mansions) of medieval Indian merchants. These
elegant buildings, which are very well preserved, tell an apt
story of how medieval Indian society existed.
This afternoon we drive to Sam, a dessert outpost. Enroute we
visit a few typical dessert villages, which have a sprinkling of
huts. The rough terrain here does not support cultivation; hence
the entire village works as casual labourers in road works or
community projects. Inspite of their poverty and hard life the
people are very friendly and seem to be aware that they are
proud owners of very expressive and beautiful faces. We move on
to Sam where we explore the dessert on camel back.
Late evening we will drive back to your hotel in Jaisalmer
Overnight at Taj Rawal Kot - a Taj Group Hotell
Day 13: Manvar / Jodhpur (75 Kms)
morning excursion to Khichan. The tiny village of Khichan has
assumed a popular appeal with the bird watching community. The
local people offer large amounts of grain to birds every morning
and this has attracted large numbers of Demoiselle Cranes to
usurp this food supply. It is great spectacle to watch these
Cranes swoop down to a especially created rectangular enclosure,
for their early breakfast. The feeding session lasts for an hour
and a half, one group takes off as another settles. Their flight
across the backdrop of the traditional mansions of the village,
presents wonderful opportunities for photography, as do the
feeding birds on the ground. We are very close by and can be
offered vantage positions over the terraces, by the local people
who feel proud of their visitors.
Later we will drive to Jodhpur
Upon arrival check into your hotel Umaid Bhawan Palace. The
only palace built in 20th century conceived by Maharaja Umaid
Singh as a centerpiece of his massive famine-relief scheme,
giving employment to hundreds of people for nearly 16 years.
This opulent edifice in sandstone is still the residence of the
former rulers with a part of it running as hotel and remaining
part as a museum. The palace captures the imagination of a
visitor by its sculpted lawns with sandstone pavements and
bouquets of bougainvillea bushes. The name of the palace has
been derived from the sandstones being used in its construction.
These rocks do not wear out how harsh the weather might be. It
took 25 years and 3000 men to give shape to this stupendous
expression. The Palace was designed as a smooth combination of
European classical elements interlaced with oriental ones.
Massive sandstone boulders were cut from a quarry at Surasagar
near Jodhpur and transported by a special narrow-gauge train to
the construction sites. Master masons chiseled these rough
stones into blocks of five and seven tons. The blocks were then
fitted into an interlocking fashion with no mortar or cement
being used in the construction. Furnished with fashionable Art
Deco interiors by the Polish artist and decorator, S. Norblin,
the palace consumed one million square feet of the finest
marble. The world of Umaid Bhawan Palace contained everything
that the royalty required - a private cinema hall, a luxurious
swimming pool inlaid with tiles depicting the zodiac, gigantic
royal suites, a soaring rotunda, fancy ball rooms, a majestic
durbar hall, billiards room, ballrooms, banquet halls,
libraries, staff quarters, servant quarters. In 1977, Umaid
Bhawan opened as one of India's grandest luxury hotels.
Afternoon, we would ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower
Bazaar. This is one of India's largest and most colourful
wholesale markets especially with respect to clothes, fabrics,
spices, vegetables etc. It is a fantastic experience to walk
through the place observing and photographing this incredible
spectacle of vibrant lifestyles and incredible colours.
Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 14: Jodhpur
breakfast, proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur. Our tour
includes the massive fort. In olden days this must have been
impregnable since its rocky base is scraped straight down making
it nearly impossible to ascend. Once inside, royal palaces
abound with fascinating history and priceless jewels, on to the
armoury and Jaswant Thada - the Royal Crematorium. This evening,
we would ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is
one of India's largest and most colourful wholesale markets
especially with respect to clothes, fabrics, spices, vegetables
Rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities.
Jodhpur is a veritable shopper's paradise with entire streets
and localities in the walled city devoted to single commodities.
The city is famous for bandhani and lahariya, block printed
textiles, silver jewellery, antique furniture, wood and metal
handicrafts. Carpets and durries can be found on the Umaid
Bhawan Palace road. Jodhpur is home to many talented and skilled
craftsmen like textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers and
probably the last of the tailors of the classic Jodhpur
Overnight at Umaid Bhawan Palace - a 5* Taj Group Hotel
Day 15: Jodhpur / Shahpura Bagh (140 Kms)
we drive off the beaten track to reach Shahpura Bagh an
aristocratic Estate. Set amidst the golden sands of Rajasthan at
Shahpura one finds an oasis - A dazzling shimmer of sunshine on
water that hovers on the edge of a mirage. Shahpura Bagh has
just opened its doors to visitors for the first time. A stay
here with the family and the Ruler himself, offers a rare
opportunity to experience a royal way of life, preserved in a
timeless corner of Rajasthan. Simple in decoration, but grand in
Upon arrival check into hotel Shahpura Bagh situated on the
edge of the lakes where man and nature exist in harmony with
each other. This was the summer residence of the rulers of
Shahpura. The 30-acre estate was granted by the Mughal emperor
Shah Jahan to Rajadhiraj Suraj Mal, Rana Pratap's grandson in
1630 AD for successful military campaigns against the Marathas
Shahpura Bagh has exquisitely furnished spacious bedroom over
600ft with walls that are coated with limestone. The traditional
charm and décor blends delightfully to facilities and
services discerning tourists would see - all rooms have world
space radios, coffee and tea makers, hair dryers, phone system
as well as eco friendly herbal toiletries. The place is still
the residence of the descendants erstwhile Royal family and they
are your present hosts. They meet you, share stories and put
your holiday in perspective. It is their personal touch and
their local knowledge that make the stay a memorable fairy tale.
Shahpura Bagh is also a food-lover's heaven. You can take your
pick from authentic home cooked Rajasthani food prepared over
fire or home-cooked continental and tradition meals, tempered to
suit your palate.
Late afternoon, we enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of
villages where tradition centuries old still permeate life
styles. We will witness the rituals & local practices of the
people of this town. Gaily attired men and women carry on their
chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and customs.
The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind one of the
simple and traditional living here.
Overnight at Shahpura Bagh
Day 16: Shahpura
make short trips into farms & villages and forts; these
farms are great for bird watching. You will have a great time
with simple activities like boating, air gun, target shooting,
farm visits as well as having fun with someone like Sat and Jai.
They are the host brothers who will escort you around.
You will enjoy your visit to Ram Dwara, the revered ancient
temple. Also, the old city palace reveals the integration of
Rajput and Mughal traditions in architecture while the
geometrical symmetry of the baoli (step wells) inspires a
serenity that lingers. The Dhikola Fort stands majestically on a
hill, surveying a vast expanse of verdant green and lakes.
In evening we explore the unending shopping options of
Shahpura. There are many goods on sale in the marketplace.
Suggest get a leather mojari or local footwear, made to your
Overnight at Shahpura Bagh
Day 18: Ranthambhore
& afternoon Jungle excursions in open top vehicle.
Ranthambhore is known to have India's Friendliest tigers Assured
of protection; these nocturnal creatures are seen often in the
day. Sprawled on the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges of Rajasthan,
Ranthambhore National Park encompasses an area of 410 Sq. km. in
which lives a healthy population of about 40 tigers. A large
number of deer inhabit the area and leopards are occasionally
sighted. The Pandam Taloa lake, located adjacent to the Jogi
Mahal hunting lodge, is the park's favorite water source.
Smaller pools at Raj Bagh and Milak also attract a variety of
wild life The best way to explore Ranthambore is in open top
vans as the park is well connected by arterial roads and tracks.
Some of the popular sighting areas are Nal Ghati, Lahpur,
Bakuala, Anantpur and the Kachida valley. Mammals: Tiger,
Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Sloth Bear, Sambar,
Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Indian hare mongoose.
Birds: Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, great Indian
horned owl, grey partridge sandgrouse, quail, spurfowl, common
peafowl, tree pie, paradise flycatcher, pheasant tailed jacana,
painted stork, black stork, spoonbill, green pigeon, ducks.
Overnight at Vanyavilas
Day 20: Jaipur
After a leisurely
breakfast we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal
Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of
this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the
dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified
battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills
overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls
lattice the surrounding hills.
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned,
painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where
Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our
guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural
masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics
and water-cooled swings that delight today's visitors as they
did their former royal residents.
We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a
five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and
delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of
the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women
could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone
Later, proceed on a tour of City Palace & Observatory. The
City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of
Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is
a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies
over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of
the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall
has seven gates and was built for protection from invading
armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the
wall that time.
Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure
house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till
Overnight at Rajvilas
END OF SERVICES
We do hope the flavor of India will
remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would
kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you
for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"