Cultural tour of North India - Fixed departures
Discover the immense beauty and architectural heritage of North India, including the Golden Triangle, with Agra and world famous Taj Mahal, the decorated haveli of Mandawa and Bikaner, the gems of Rajasthan Jodhpur and Jaipur, ending in cosmopolitan Delhi.
Welcome in India! On arrival you will be transferred and assisted to your room in your hotel in Delhi. Remaining day at leisure.
Delhi, the capital of India, now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope that is India.
After breakfast drive to Mandawa in the heart of the semi-arid Shekhawati region. Shekhawati owes its name to Rao Shekha who ruled this area in the 14th century. The Fort of Mandawa was built in the year 1755 by Thakur Nawal Singh, the founder of the town. These were the times when Mandawa was settled and fortified by the rich and dominant Silk Route merchants of the region, who constructed many Havelis (Mansions), Chhatris (Cenotaphs), Temples and Baolis (Step-wells) with ornate frescoes adorning their walls and now aptly given the epithet of Open-Air Gallery.
With the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Mandawa still retains the charm and aura of a bygone era and coming here is like stepping into a different world.
Overnight stay in Mandawa.
After breakfast drive to Bikaner, tucked away in the desert of western Rajasthan and characterized by beautiful sandstone architecture. On arrival check in.
Visit Junagarh Fort built between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Jai Singh who was a general in the army of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. The fort has a 986 meter long wall with 37 bastions and 2 entrances, it is famous for the super quality of the stone carvings. Visit the fascinating Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, an incarnation of the goddess Durga.
The huge silver gate and marble carvings donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh lead you into the sea of swarming rodents who are considered auspicious. Devotees throng this temple to make offerings to the rats. Other places of interest include the famous camel breeding farm just outside the town. Overnight stay in Bikaner.
After early breakfast at hotel restaurant, we will proceed for last sight visit to Bikaner, which is a camel breeding farm and is the largest in Asia. The farm is taken care by the govt body ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research).
From here, we will continue our drive to Jaisalmer, the golden city of Rajasthan that is one of the beautiful cities with charming havelis, forts and sand dunes. On arrival check in. Evening explore the city on your own.
Bikaner to Jaisalmer – 6.5 hours
Overnight in Jaisalmer.
After breakfast wander through the lands of the walled city and inside the fort. Houses, temples and havelis are very different from what you would find in the other regions of Rajasthan. In the late afternoon take a Jeep safari to the sand dune.
Overnight in Jaisalmer.
After breakfast drive to Jodhpur, known as the blue city, this land of royalty is a glittering jewel set in the golden sands of barren desert landscape. The light that reflects the golden sands engulf a land renowned for its vibrant colours, people in the bright clothes and beautiful jewellery, living in a city dotted and dominated by towering forts and palaces that rise from sand like a mirage. On arrival check in.
Later proceed on a tour of Meherangarh Fort with its graceful palaces, a spectacular setting for the rich past and culture of the imperial city. Then admire Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Later we drive to Udaipur, founded in the year 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh after his final unsuccessful attempt to defend the Mewar capital, Chittorgarh from the invading Mughals under Emperor Akbar. The Kingdom of Mewar was considered the most respectable among all Princely states in Rajasthan and still remembered for the courage to protect the Kingdom.
The site for Udaipur was chosen for its natural beauty, abundant water and natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests and Aravali mountains. It is set on the edge of three lakes and also known as the "City of Lakes & Palaces". Undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, its beautiful Palaces are mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Pichola. It is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples.
En route we will visit Ranakpur, renowned for some marvellously carved Jain temples in marble, created in the 15th century AD during the reign of Rana Kumbha.
Today we visit the City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings contributed by various Maharanas (Kings) after Udai Singh and built in the year 1725. The magnificence of the Palace starts right from its entrance at the northern Tripolia Gate that brings us to the central courtyard, the best place to view the facade of filigreed balconies and ornate cupola-topped towers.
Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) is an ornamental garden built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his daughter and the Ladies of the Queen's court. He built the garden with several fountains, pools and is decorated with chiselled pavilions and elephants. The fountains worked on the unique hydraulic technique devised in the year 1700 AD & work till today.
Later we visit Jagdish Temple, the Indo-Aryan temple, built in the year 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, is the largest and the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted images. We also enjoy boat ride on Lake Pichola, the beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. The Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls in the lake.
Overnight stay in Udaipur.
In the morning drive to Jaipur in your exclusive vehicle. On arrival check in at your hotel. In the evening take a walking tour of the colorful streets and bazaars of Jaipur City. The beauty of Jaipur is that its unique architecture and town planning is visible at even the most commonest places such as its squares and lanes. Dinner with an Indian family.
Morning proceed for sightseeing by rickshaw visit the Amber fort, the fort is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountain Ranges and the great wall of Amber. Later visit the City Palace, the royal residence of Jaipur. Chandra mahal (the moon palace), Mubarak mahal (the welcome palace) and the Palace Museum are some interesting parts of the City Palace.
Afternoon visit the Hawa Mahal is the best known landmark of Jaipur.
Overnight in Jaipur.
Drive to Agra enroute visit of Abhaneri step wells. Later drive to visit Agra Fort, this massive building inside reflecting an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural style built by Emperor Akbar. Check in. Evening visit the Mehtab garden to view the sunset at Taj Mahal.
Jaipur to Agra – 5 hours
Overnight in Agra.
This morning holds lot of excitement for you. You will be overwhelmed at the panorama of the Taj Mahal basking in the rays of the morning sun. Rise early visit sunrise of Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal Closed on Fridays), perhaps the most photographed monument in the world, may you heard about the Taj Mahal and once you see so many picture of building your expectations are real high and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal glory and beauty of building surpasses beyond all human imagination.
Later checkout it's time to bid farewell to India. You will be dropped at the Delhi airport for your onward flight.
Agra to Delhi – 4 ½ hours.