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09 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS
Pick Up from Airport / Railway Station, drive for Jaipur. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the 'PINK CITY' as the buildings in its old, walled city are all constructed in pink-colored sandstone. The city owes its name, its foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). He laid out the city with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks by principles of town planning set out in an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. The remarkable observatory, constructed by him in 1728, is still one of the central attractions. It is worthwhile spending any leisure time wandering through the bazaars. The place is well known for its beautiful carpets, enameled ornaments, precious and semi-precious stones, brass ornaments and many other arts and crafts. Overnight stay at hotel.
This morning you will drive 11kms in the outskirts of the city to visit Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the State until 1728. Visit the Temple of Goddess Kali, the Hall of Victory or Jai Mahal and Jagmandir. You can have the unique experience of travelling on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. In the afternoon visit the Observatory, the Palace of Winds and the City Palace and Museum. The museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Rest of the day is free to explore the colorful town independently. Return to the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. Enroute visit Pushkar and Ajmer, 150 Km & approx 03 Hours. Ajmer, is the most sacred of all Muslim places of pilgrimage in India. It is a green oasis on the shore of Ana Sagar Lake, hemmed in by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer was always of great strategic importance. It was founded in 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan. He named it Ajaimeru the 'invincible hill'. The city's Muslim history began when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Ajmer to Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1193 A.D. The Persian saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, who came with Muhammad Ghori from Persia in 1192 settled here. Thus the place where he was buried is today known as the Dargah Sharif. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun and the gates were added by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Later Shah Jahan constructed a mosque of white marble; it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. Leave for a visit to Pushkar. Pushkar is a mellow, serene and bewitching little town which attracts those in search of some respite from the tumult of India. Pushkar is right on the edge of the desert and is only 11 km from Ajmer but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the snake mountain. This traveler-friendly town clings to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its many bathing ghats and temples. For Hindus, Puhskar is a very important pilgrimage centre and you'll see plenty of Sadhus (individuals on a spiritual search). Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. It's marked by red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the 'huns', or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site. After lunch drive to Jodhpur 220 Kms, 4 Hrs. Jodhpur - Call it by its many names and they will not do Jodhpur justice. An oasis in the arid Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan. Representing this colorful city with shades of blue, Jodhpur has a history that is rich and a present that beckons strongly to the discerning tourist. Forts and palaces, temples and havelis, culture and tradition, spices and fabrics, color and texture, Jodhpur has them all and in plenty. Situated in western Rajasthan, Jodhpur has long attracted both the domestic and outside tourist. It not only offers tangibles, in terms of what you can see and buy but also fills one with a sense of history and the splendors of an era gone forever. Overnight stay at hotel
After breakfast, drive 285 km to Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer, a fairy-tale town in the Thar Desert founded about 800 years ago by Rajah Jaisal. Unlike any other city, this desert fortress is one of Rajasthan's most exotic and unusual towns. Jaisalmer, an important ancient trading centre because of its strategic location on the camel trade routes, is often described as the 'golden city'. The havelis, built by merchants of the 19th century, are exquisitely carved from golden yellow sandstone and are still in a beautiful condition. The fort built by Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century, stands on the 80 meter high Trikuta hill, with beautifully carved Jain temples. The annual desert festival takes place in January and February each year and is a riot of colour and activity. Jaisalmer is also famous for its embroidery, Rajasthani mirror work, rugs, blankets, antique, and stonework and camel safaris into the barren sand-duned desert. Afternoon is free to walk around in the colorful and bustling bazaars. Overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast, leave for the city tour of Jaisalmer. Visit the famous Havelis (mansions) known for their frescoes. Jaisalmer's strategic position on the camel terrain route bought it great wealth. The merchants grew prosperous and commissioned great havelis, or mansions, to flaunt their ever-growing status in society. Made of local golden-yellow sand stone and wood, some of the havelis are still in excellent condition. The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis is the Patwaon Ki Haveli. Five Jain brothers built the Haveli between 1800 and 1860. Salim Singh Ki Haveli and Nathmal Ki Haveli are the other two havelis that are opened to visitors. Built in 1156 by the Bhati ruler, Jaisal, the fort here stands atop the 80 m high Trikuta hill. 3 walls and features 99 bastions surround the fort. Over the centuries, the golden sand stone fortress witnessed many battles between the Bhatis, the Mughals and the Rathores of Jodhpur. Within the fort complex lie the beautifully carved Jain Temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries. The 'Maharawals' (rulers) of Jaisalmer were devout Hindus but were tolerant of Jainism, and encouraged art and religion. There are seven temples in the complex - Chandraprabhu, Parasnath, Shitalnath, Sambhavnath, Shantinath, Kunthunath and Rikhabdev Temple. The temples are all connected by a series of corridors and walkways. Close by is the Gyan Bhandar, a library founded in 1500 A.D. It houses priceless ancient manuscripts and other exhibits like astrological charts, besides the Jain equivalent of the Christian Shroud of Turin. In the evening, proceed for the excursion to SAM Sand dunes. Located at a distance of 42 kilometres from Jaisalmer, Sam Sand Dunes is the closest point to witness the total sandy desert. You can also see the patterns and motifs created by the shifting sands and air. Moreover, Sam Dunes also provide you with an unforgettable experience of camel rides and the sunset. Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
Today, after breakfast, drive 285 kms to Jodhpur. The hospitality of the locals, the demure women, the colourful turbans - all set against the unmerciful desert is something to feel, not just see. Every pore of Jodhpur tells its own tales of heroism that made legends out of kings and soldiers, romances that continue to warm the heart and a time when epics were lived out on the streets by everyday man. Visit the MEHRANGARH FORT in the afternoon. Considered one of India's best forts, this invincible stronghold of the Marwars sits on a steep hill lording over a wonderful view of its surroundings. It is also a beautiful fort and undoubtedly, the jewel of Jodhpur. Intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches speak of beauty and taste. No matter what part of the fort you are in, its ambience will leave you in awe and your senses reeling. Take in the sight high up on the rampart where the second largest cannon in Asia rests, the recoil of which requires an area as large as a football field! Also visit Jaswant Thada - a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899. A story goes that Maharaja Jaswant succumbed to injuries in this place while fighting the Mughal king Jehangir. Return to hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast drive to Mount Abu 285 kms. You'll drive through valleys in the remote and peaceful Aravalli Range to RANAKPUR to visit one of the most important Jain temples in India. This marble complex is noted for the 29 halls supported by 1,444 pillars, each adorned with hundreds of carved figures, no two alike. After visit of Ranakpur drive to Mount Abu. In the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan has a range of natural and cultural bounties which makes it an excellent destination. The biggest draw of this charming hill town is the famous Dilwara Temples, worth a visit for their outstanding architecture, intricate white marble carvings and elegant sculptures. This ancient temple complex captures the cultural heritage of the region in all its glory. Dilwara Temples: This temple complex built in the Solanki style of architecture dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries AD. Carved out of white marble, these temples are dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras (enlightened souls). The oldest temple, the Vimal Vasahi temple, was built in 1031 AD and is dedicated to the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. The temples are very famous for the intricate carvings, especially on the pillars. But the most striking feature of this Jain temple is the marble pendant in the dome of the porch. It hangs from the ceiling like an enchanting cluster of half-open lotuses with cups so finely carved that they appear to be transparent. Nakki Lake: Legend has it that this lake was carved out by the Gods. Set picturesquely amidst hills, it is the only artificial lake in India that is 1200 metres above sea level.The Nakki Lake, set amidst the misty hills, makes for a pretty picture with colourful tourist boats gliding past. Toad Rock, a uniquely-shaped rock, adds to the charm of the picturesque lake. The Natural beauty and breathtakingly beautiful temple architecture make this sightseeing tour in Mount, Abu memorable. Overnight at hotel
This morning, again you'll drive the Aravalli Range towards south, arriving Udaipur, the 'City of Sunrise'. In the evening you will enjoy a leisurely boat ride on LAKE PICHOLA (Subject to water level in the lake). With its main attractions being the two palaces on the islands in the lake, Jagniwas and Jagmandir, Lake Pichola is about 4 km in length and 3 km wide. Jagniwas was earlier the summer retreat of the prince of Mewar and now a five-star hotel. The city palace extends along the eastern shore of the lake and you can go for a boat ride from Bansi Ghat. Overnight at hotel.
Udaipur is also a centre of historic arts and crafts of Mewar, like the Mewar School of Miniature Painting. There is of course the modern face of Udaipur that one can look at if interested, but given the other sights from a glorious past, modernity is no real distraction. This is a place that will hold you in its thrall no matter whom you are or where you come from. During a guided tour you will visit the following: CITY PALACE: Built in 1725, one of the largest, most beautiful palaces in the state of Rajasthan, the grand City Palace is actually a conglomerate of eleven palaces overlooking the sprawling Lake Pichola. It is now a museum, royal residence and a luxury hotel. This intricately designed monument is an architectural wonder in granite and marble. JAGDISH TEMPLE: It was built in 1651 by Maharaja Jagat Singh. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located in the centre of the old city. The temple has a black marble image of Lord Vishnu, which is unusual for the northern part of the country, where statues of Gods are normally in marble. FATEH SAGAR originally built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh, Fateh Sagar was rebuilt by Maharana Fateh Singh after the rains destroyed the dam. In the middle of the lake is Nehru Park, the garden island. Return to your hotel for overnight stay.
After breakfast drive to Delhi, On arrival transfer to Airport / Railway Station for your onward journey.