Rajasthan on Wheels >>
Forts & Palaces on Wheels
Duration :- 17 Nights/18 Days
Day 1: Arrive Delhi:
Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Taj Palace (B). (5 Star Deluxe Property)
Day02: Delhi/Agra: (Drive 200km/4 Hrs):
As India's capital, Delhi is a political and business hub, as well as one of the country's major travel gateways. It also has a throng of semi permanent foreigners who work as news correspondents, at embassies (we can identify a diplomat's car by it's blue number plate), or at other organizations that have foreign associations. Spacious and planned, New Delhi was built as the imperial capital of India by the British while Old Delhi was the capital of the Muslim India between the 17th and the 19th centuries - there is a rich legacy of mosques, and monuments and forts that testifies to this. Delhi hasn't always been India's capital, but it has played a paramount role in Indian history. Many have invaded Delhi through the ages, including the Persian emperor, Nadir Shah, who sacked the city in 1739 and carted the Kohinoor Diamond (now part of the British royal family's crown jewels) and the famous Peacock Thrown off to Iran. The British Captured Delhi in 1803, but during the Indian Uprising of 1857 it was centre of resistance against them. The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India. After breakfast we start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and the Qutub Minar - a perfect minaret towering 102 meters / 112 yards into the sky. New Delhi is a blend of Moghul India, Hindu India, and British India and certainly of modern independent India. Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort. Built by Shah Jehan, this was once the most opulent fort of the Moghul Empire. Next we visit another Moghul majesty, the Jama Masjid that is India's largest mosque, followed by the Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. We end our tour with a bazaar experience at Chandni Chowk, the street of silver and goldsmiths. We also visit a Kashmiri handicraft emporium where skillful craftsmen from Kashmir will show you how "The World famous Persian carpets" are weaved. These craftsmen have resettled down in Delhi after the uprising in Kashmir and are trying to earn their livelihood. In the evening we proceed to Agra- Home of the world-famous TAJ MAHAL. On arrival in Agra we check in our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Jaypee Palace (B). (5 Star Deluxe Property)
Day 03: Agra/Bharatpur:(Drive 51km/1Hr):
In the early morning we visit world famous monument TAJ MAHAL best described as 'poetry in marble' because of its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaj Mahal. Surely it is the greatest monument of love, and truly one of the wonders of the world. Later we come back our hotel for breakfast. After breakfast we visit Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar. Agra is famous for it's inlay work on marble, later we visit some of the local factories in Agra to see, how the inlay work on marble in done. Later we proceed to Bharatpur enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri- Akbar's Capital where phantoms of ancient pomp and splendor fill a deserted city, silent witnesses to a vanished dream. The capital had to be abandoned by the emperor for lack of adequate water supply. The marble tomb of the Saint 'Salim Chisti' and the Bulland Durwaza, the highest gateway in the world, are some of the highlights of the place. Later we continue our countryside journey for Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary Bharatpur. Bharatpur is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the world. Shallow lakes, divided by a network of dikes and roads suitable for strolling, are Home to more than 350 species of birds, including three types of herons, four of egrets, three of storks and two of cranes (including the rare Siberian crane, in winter months). The park can be seen by walking, bike buggy or by cycle rickshaws.
Overnight: Hotel in Laxmi Nivas Palace (B).
Day 04: Bharatpur/ Jaipur: (Drive 200kms/4Hrs):
After breakfast we visit Keoladeo bird sanctuary with forest guide. After visiting bird sanctuary we proceed to Jaipur. Jaipur is filled with frenetic crowds; Rajasthan's chaotic, dusky - pink capital is a place of wild contrasts, bombarding the senses at every turn. Jaipur old city, it's rich color deepening and fading according to the light, is lined with long, twinkling bazaars. Like Wacky Races on acid, vegetable - laden camel carts thread their way through streets jam-packed with cars, cows, rickshaws & bicycles. The city owes its name, foundation and careful planning to the great warrior -astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693 - 1743). On Arrival in Jaipur we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free for relaxation & Personal activities.
Overnight: Hotel in Ram Bagh Palace (B). (5 Star Deluxe Property)
A royal experience awaits us as we take an elephant ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we return to Jaipur to visit the old astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Jai Singh. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur. As Jaipur is famous for its jewels (gems cutting and polishing), we will take you to a Gems cutting and polishing center - which has won several awards by Japanese Government & Govt.of India.
Overnight: Hotel in Ram Bagh Palace (B). (5 Star Deluxe Property)
Day 06: Jaipur/Ranthambore:(Drive 125km/ 3Hrs):
Later we proceed to Ranthambore. Ranthambore National Park is the famous for tigers reserve. Mughal emperor Shah Alam gifted it to Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh 1 of Jaipur in 1754 and since then it was mainted as the hunting preserve of the Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh queen Elizabeth II and the duke of Edinburgh were part of the royal part of hunting parties who stayed Ranthambore has been a witness to the rise and fall of many rulers and a series of battle scenes. On arrival in Ranthambore, we check in our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel in Sawai Madhopur Lodge/Tiger Den (B).
Full day is free for enjoy in Ranthambore forest.
Overnight: Hotel in Sawai Madhopur Lodge/ Tiger Den / The Pugmark (B).
Day 08: Ranthambore/ Kota: (Drive 220km/ 5 ½ Hrs):
After breakfast we proceed to Kota. The town of Kota was once the part of the erstwhile Rajput kingdom of Bundi. It became a separate princely state in the 17th century. Apart from the several monuments that reflect the erstwhile glory of the town, Kota is also known for its palaces and gardens. It is located on the eastern bank of Chambal River and is drained by its tributaries. Kota is on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest axis of the town. Kota is famous for fort and palace. On arrival in Kota we check in our hotel. Later we visit Later we visit the city fort and palace, one of its main attractions, is located on the eastern banks of the Chambal River. This type of fort-palace complex is one of the largest to be found in the state of Rajasthan. The museum within the city palace is worth visiting, as it houses a good collection of artifacts. Later we visit the little Jagmandir palace, built on a small island at the center of this tank by one of the local rulers in 1740.
Overnight: Ummed Bhavan Palace Kota (B).
Day 09:Kota/Chittorgarh/Udaipur:(Drive 285km/8Hrs):
Today we proceed to Udaipur en-route visiting Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh is famous for fort, a massive, magnificent russet-colored construction sprawling across the hills, epitomizes the whole romantic, doomed ideal of Rajput chivalry. Three times in its long history, a strong enemy sacked Chittor and, on each occasion, death came before dishonor as jauhar was declared in the face of impossible odds. After visiting Chittorgarh Fort we continue our countryside journey for Udaipur. If Jaipur is a study in pink then Udaipur is a vision in white. The City of Dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Eight marble porticos mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor. Within the City Palace are several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. The most memorable parts of Udaipur are its lake palaces, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan when he was in exile following a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jehangir. On arrival in Udaipur we check in our hotel. Later we take our tour with a boat ride in lake Pichola.
Overnight: Lake Palace Udaipur (B). (5 Star Deluxe Property)
Day10: Udaipur/Kumbalgarh: (Drive 84km/ 2Hrs):
After breakfast we check out from our hotel. Then we visit the City Palace with its intricate countryside, patios and balconies, Saheliyon-Ki-Bari or the Garden of the Maidens of Honor, Jagdish Temple and the Gulab Niwas Garden are the highlights. Later we proceed to Kumbalgarh. Kumbalgarh - Built by Rana Kumbha in mid-15th century, Kumbalgarh is the second most important bastion of Mewar, after Chittorgarh Covering an area of 12 sq km, this fort fell only once to the army of Akbar and that too because the water supply of the fort was contaminated by the enemy forces. Even today the fort is reached with some difficulty so its inaccessibility when it was built can be imagined. It served as a refuge for the rulers of Mewar in times of strife. Later we visit city fort. The fort lies 1,100 meters above sea level and enclosed within its fortified ramparts are palaces, temples, fields, water sources and farms fully self-contained to withstand a long siege. Kumbalgarh provides an excellent view of the countryside where many fierce battles were fought. It also has its significance of being the birthplace of Maharana Pratap.
Overnight: Hotel Aodhi (B).
Day 11: Kumbalgarh/Ranakpur/Rohet: (Drive195km/5 ½ Hrs):
After breakfast we leave for Rohet en-route visiting Ranakpur. Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. These temples were constructed in the AD 1439. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. Later we continue our countryside journey for Rohet. Rohet, a small but quaint village is Home to several artisans. Here visitors can also visit Bishnoi settlements with their scrubbed Homes and flamboyantly dressed and bejeweled women. Rohet Garh the 16th century Champawat fort has been considerably renovated and enhanced as a premium heritage hotel. With its 25 rooms, Rohet Garh is among the most professionally run, personalized properties in Rajasthan.
Overnight: Hotel Rohet Garh (B).
Day 12: Rohet/ Jodhpur: (Drive 40km/1 Hr):
After breakfast we proceed to Jodhpur. Jodhpur- the Blue city, a crazed cubist mass of indigo angles, spreads along the edge of the Great Thar Desert. The old city of Jodhpur is a tangle of winding, glittering streets, scented by incense, roses and sewers, with shops selling everything from trumpets to temple decorations, from snuff to saris. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as the Rathores, founded Jodhpur in 1459. In a vital trade route, the city was built on the profits of opium, sandalwood, dates and copper. Rao Jodha's descendants ruled other princely states as well as Jodhpur. The lifestyle in Jodhpur is unusually fascinating with folks wearing lovely multihued costumes, artistically designed. Women folk wear wide gathered skirts and a hip length jacket, with three quarter length sleeves, covering the front and back. The colorful turbans worn by the men folk add more color to the city. It was from here that the popularity worn baggy - tight, horse riding trousers- ' Jodhpurs' took their name. On arrival in Jodhpur we check in our hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the city of Jodhpur on your own.
Overnight: Taj Hari Mahal (B).
Day 13: Jodhpur:
Today after breakfast we tour Jodhpur. Dominating the city is a massive fortress, safeguarding the Royal palaces with their collections of arms and priceless jewels, the Mehrangarh Fort. We also visit the exquisite Jaswant Thada - A milky white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and the Mandore Gardens - The ancient capital of Marwar has cenotaphs of the Jodhpur rulers. The Hall of heroes has fifteen figures carved out of the rock on the wall, which represent Hindu deities. Its beautiful gardens with high rock terraces make it a popular picnic sport.
Overnight: Taj Hari Mahal (B).
Day 14: Jodhpur/ Jaisalmer: (Drive 298km/ 8Hrs):
After early breakfast we leave for Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is an architectural dream in the lonely yellow silence of the desert. What could have induced Jaisal, a Bhatti prince, to settle right in the heart of a desolate desert, that too in the 12th century. In the narrow, cobbled alleys of Jaisalmer - no wider than a stretched arm - cluster the havelis or the mansions of the rich, with stone carving and latticed work of breathtaking intricacy. Patwan ki haveli, Nathmalji ki haveli and Salimn ki haveli are some of the beautiful mansions. The fort build on the highest point of Tricutta hill is entered through the Suraj Pol or Sun Gate. Jaisalmer' s strategic position on the camel train routes between India and Central Asia bought it great wealth. The merchants and townspeople built magnificent houses and mansions, all exquisitely carved from wood and golden sandstone. Jaisalmer looks as if it has grown out of the desert. On arrival in Jaisalmer we check in our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel Taj Rawat kot (B).
Day 15: Jaisalmer:
After breakfast we leave for city tour of Jaisalmer visiting the fort built by Maharawal (Maharaja) Jaisal in 1156 AD- One of the 2nd oldest in Rajasthan situated on triangular Mound 76 meters above ground level. Like a giant sandcastle, the golden fort thrusts skywards out of the surrounding barren landscape. Dubbed the "Golden City" because of its honey color, it is the place that should exist only in the imagination. For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the 'Tales of the Arabian Nights' still enchants. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. We also visit the Jain temple of the 11th century BC, Gadisar Tank - A scenic rainwater lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings., Folk Museum, Patwan ki Haveli The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals, Badal Vilas Palace. We come back to the hotel after sightseeing. In the late afternoon we leave for an excursion to SAM and SAND DUNES. Village SAM 45 kms west of Jaisalmer has a cluster of Sand dunes. These dunes are large extents of shifting sands, the wind heaps the sand into hills or deep hollow scopes vary in size from 3 to 15 km. Camel ride is arranged in the evening. Enjoy the sun set with changing colors in desert.
Overnight: Hotel Taj Rawat Kot (B).
Day 16: Jaisalmer/ Bikaner: (Drive 333km/8Hrs):
After breakfast we check out from our hotel & Proceed to Bikaner. Bikaner city is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Rao Bika, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Jaramal Temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. This sprawling desert town has a fort with some of the finest interiors in India, and a bustling old walled city encompassing darkred sandstone havelis and exquisitely painted Jain temples. The area is famous for the intricate rich gold painting work by Muslim Usta artisans. On arrival in Bikaner we check in our hotel.
Overnight: Karni Bhavan Palace (B).
Day 17: Bikaner/Mandawa: (Drive 164km/ 4Hrs):
After breakfast we check out from our hotel & start our tour, Junagarh fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh-A general in the army of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Then Lalgarh palace, this redstone palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. It is an imposing building, with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. Later we proceed to Mandawa is an ideal location to revisit Rajasthan's rich heritage and culture. Mandawa is an excellent base for exploring the region. It was settled in the 18th century and fulfilled by the dominant merchant families. Mandawa one of the finest of the small towns in the Shekhawati region has royal castle and innumerable Havelis where the painted facades offer a great variety of surprises. On arrival in Mandawa we check in our Heritage Hotel "Castle Mandawa". Castle Mandawa built in 1755, and approached through two gateways mounted with cannons. It is now converted into a Heritage Hotel where dinner is served in the back lawns accompanied by an enchanting fire dance. The castle has a restaurant, and 57 rooms in a variety that ranges from a medley of suites to rooms - not one of them ordinary. Later in the noon we tour Mandawa, famously known as "The Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan" Mandawa is famous for the plethora of plain red havelis, and this rich artistic region known as Shekhawati. Mandawa is an excellent base for those seeking to discover what is known as Havelis at Shekhawati built by rich merchants of the region, display a unique architectural style that evolved around the courtyards to ensure safety and privacy of the women folk and protection from the heat of the long and harsh summers. The havelis, painted predominantly in blue, maroon, yellow green and indigo have beautiful wall paintings that adorn there walls. In the evening we enjoy dinner at the lawn of Castle Mandawa.
Overnight: Hotel in Castle Mandawa (B).
Day 18: Mandawa/ Delhi/Out:(Drive 242km/6Hrs):
After early breakfast we leave for Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we are transferred to International airport for onward destination.