10 NIGHTS / 11 DAYS
Pick Up from Airport / Railway Station, Drive to Jaipur. Jaipur, the City of Victory, was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It is a well planned city of magnificent palaces and building. Built from rose-coloured terra cotta, it has given it the name 'Pink City', the Capital of Rajasthan, it is a city full of contrasts with bazaars teeming with turbaned elders and jean clad youngsters to camels, horses and a multitude of vehicles. Jaipur's focal point is the magnificent Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) primarily an elaborate five storey face with projecting windows and balconies, behind which the ladies of the court used to sit and observe life going on in the streets below. Over night at Hotel.
Today is a full days sightseeing in and around Jaipur beginning with Amber, the ancient capital of the region prior to Jaipur, and located 11 km north of the City. Now a deserted complex crowning the crest of a hill with panoramic views, Amber Fort is extremely well preserved and a fascinating place to explore. The forts majestic ramparts follow the natural contours of the ridge and the palace is full of hidden gems the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of mirrors), Jas Mandir with its latticed windows and glass inlay work and Zenana. (Women's quarters) Elephants still carry visitors in stately splendor to the main Palace, through magnificent high gateways. In the afternoon in Jaipur city, visit the opulent Maharaja's City Palace which occupies the heart of Jai Singh II's city and has been home to the City's rulers for 200 years. A superb blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the interiors of the Palace are lavishly furnished and decorated and the Museum houses a fabulous collection of textiles, art and crafts and arms. The Jantar Mantar or Observatory was built in 1728, by Jai Singh II, a keen astronomer. It resembles a collection of giant sculptures and was used to determine the position of the stars and planets, accurately calculate Jaipur's time, make horoscopes and is today still used to forecast the expected arrival date and intensity of the monsoon and summer temperatures. Overnight at Hotel.
After breakfast drive to Ranthombore Ranthambore Fort- the monuments are in well condition and worth visiting. One can have a marvelous view of the lake and Ranthambore National Park from top of the fort. The Fort is situated inside the Ranthambore National Park. The massive battlements encloses one of India's most ancient forts (built in 944 A.D.), vast in size, encompassing an area of nearly 7 km in circumference. Well known for 'Johar' and braveness in wars, with the great history which dates back to the 11th Century when Rana Hammir ruled from is ramparts. Legend has it that in 1381 ten thousand women committed 'Johar' or mass suicide. Records show that the fort with stood the assaults of a galaxy of generals and emperors. After noon game drive in the Ranthambore National Park. The park covers a huge area of 400 kms of dry deciduous forest having three lakes Rajbaug, Padam and Malik and the fort at the entrance. The town gets its name from two hill ranges, "Ranas" and "Thambore" which meet there. The main tourists' attraction here is the royal Bengal tiger. The area of Ranthombore park hosts 30-32 tigers, showing a healthy ecosystem. For a relatively small area, the park has a rich diversity of fauna and flora - species list includes trees, aquatic plants,birds, reptiles including the Marsh Crocodile & amphibians and mammals are in plenty too. It includes around a thousand chitals, neelgais, a rattle and a slothbear, many sambars, few chinkaras, blackbuck and many crocodiles & python. The birds like cormorants, miniwets, darters, drongos lapwings, onoles, cormorants, kingfishers, stone curlews and eagles & thousands of peacocks and peahens. The landscape is dotted with ancient Banyan Trees, Dhok & Pipal trees, clusters of mango trees and crisscrossed with evergreen belts. The terrain is made up of massive rock formations, steep scarps, perennial lakes and streams and forest suddenly opening up into large areas of Savannah. The terrain of Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. The forest is the typically dry deciduous type, with Dhok, being the most prominent tree. Overnight stay will be at the hotel.
Morning game in the Park and after breakfast drive to Bundi Today morning drive 3 hours to Bundi. Bundi - Bundi, the undiscovered splendor, 36 Kms from Kota ruled by the Hada Chauhans, is the first destination is Hadoti. This little town has till date retained a medieval atmosphere. Isolated and independent, the entire township appears like a miniature painting, frozen in time for the traveler. Few other places in India have such a picturesque location. Bundi is also one of the few places in India which can lay its claim to an authentic school of painting. The splendid paintings at the Chitrashala in the Bundi fort and also in the fort at Dugari are par excellence and can be compared with probably the best anywhere in the world. BUNDI PALACE: Set in a narrow encircling gorge, the palaces and fortress of Bundi have a fairy tale like quality about them. The Bundi Palace, built of locally quarried stone, presents one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Intricately carved brackets, pillars and balconies and sculpted elephants are used liberally. Of special interest here are the Diwan-I-Am, Hathi Pol and the Naubat Khana. Also located in the palace is the famous Chitra Shala which provides a colourful glimpse of history - the walls and ceiling of this palace are completely covered with paintings of the Bundi School. Bundi has other palaces and hunting lodges like the Phool Sagar Palace, Sukh Mahal and Shikar Burj. The town is also known for its 'Baoris' or step-wells. Unique to Rajasthan and Gujarat, the step-wells served as water reservoirs for the months of summer when there was a scarcity of drinking water. At one time, there were over fifty such wells in Bundi but most of them have suffered the ravages of time. One very good example still to be found in the heart of the town is called Raniji-ki-Baori. It has exquisitely carved pillars and ornate archways - even the simple function of drawing water from the well became a special occasion for the womenfolk, they dressed up in their finery to visit these elaborate structures. In a word Bundi offers virtually everything to a tourist in terms of its exclusive paintings, exotic forts, unparalleled architecture, lakes and step wells (Baoris), outdoor locations, wildlife or the folklore, traditional music and handicrafts Accommodation at Hotel.
Today morning drive 5 hours to Chittorgarh enroute visit the Menal. Menal, located 48 km from Bundi, is a complex of Shiva temples built in Gupta period. Another big attraction here is an impressive waterfall which develops after a good monsoon. Arrival in Chittor and sight seeing of Fort. Chittorgarh fort is a huge and colossal structure. The entrance to the fort is provided through seven gates with the main gate, Ram Pol (gate of Ram). The main gate of the fort itself is Suraj Pol (Sun gate). As per the legend, Bhim, a Pandava, started the construction of the fort. There are a number of magnificent monuments inside the fort. Tour must include Rana Kumbha Palace, the most imposing monument in the Chittorgarh fort. Rich heritage and architecture define this palace. It is believed that the palace has underground basements where Rani Padmini and other women performed Johar. After the fort visit drive 2 hours to Udaipur. Udaipur: Set amidst the Aravallis hills of south Rajasthan, Udaipur (City of Sunrise) is very beautiful and regarded as one of the most romantic city in India. Presenting an enchanting image of marble palaces, placid lakes, attractive gardens and green hills, it has been called "the Venice of the East". It was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1568 as a traditionally planned, fortified city full of palaces, temples and Havelis. The city also became a centre for the performing arts, painting and crafts. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast visit Udaipur, Visit Jagdish Temple, Built in 1651 A.D. by Maharana Jagat Singh, this Indo-Aryan temple is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, a manifestation of Vishnu. The largest and the most beautiful temple of Udaipur, it is always seething with constant activity and noted for its beautiful sculptedrajasthan-tour and towering shikhara. Later Visit City Palace. Udaipur's fascinating City Palace is the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. Standing on a rocky promontory the palace has balconies, towers and cupolas and presents a wonderful view of the lake and the city. The complex has eleven constituent mahals (palaces), constructed by successive maharanas during the three hundred years that followed the foundation of Udaipur in 1559. Added to this, Crystal Gallery and Durbar Hall within the complex is spectacular. Explore them for their mosaics, miniatures, mirror work and motifs Next is the visit to Bhartiya Lok Kala Museum. Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir is home to an attractive collection of folk dresses, puppets, ornaments, dolls, masks, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. The museum is the best place for those interested in puppetry.In addition, the museum runs short courses in puppet making and theatre in evening enjoy boat ride at Pichola Lake. The beautiful stretch of water surrounding the two marvelous structures the Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, is the life line of Udaipur city. All the palaces in the city of palaces are constructed to have a magnificent reflection in this lake. This lake was created in the 15th century and widened later and a dam across was also created in that period. It was Maharana UDAI SINGH II who strengthened the Dam and widened the lake, as he was building his capital on the shore of the beautiful Lake. The lake was surrounded by many exquisite palaces, temples, hilly terrains, bathing ghats and many gardens. Overnight at the hotel.
Today morning drive 6 hours to Jodhpur enroute visit the Ranakpur. Ranakpur, about 90 km from Udaipur, is the largest Jain temple complex in India and dates to the 15th century. The main temple is dedicated to Adinath, the first Tirthankars. Intricate carvings detail mythological figures, patterns and motifs on the walls, pillars and domes there are 1444 ornately carved marble pillars in the complex and none of them are similar. The beautiful lace-like interiors of the domes are a superb example of western Indian temple style. Surya temple and other Jain temples are side attractions. (Temples open only at 1200 Hrs. Leather belts, footwear, bare legs and black clothing not allowed) After lunch, drive 175 kms to 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. 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. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast checkout from hotel & Visit the Mehrangarh Fort. 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 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. Also visit Jaswant Thada - a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899. After lunch drive to Jaisalmer 285 km. 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 metre 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, stonework and camel safaris into the barren sand-duned desert. 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. Overnight at the 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 7 temples in the complex - Chandraprabhu, Parasnath, Shitalnath, Sambhavnath, Shantinath, Kunthunath and Rikhabdev Temple. EVENING DRIVE TO SODAKORE 55 KM FROM Jaisalmer. OVER NIGHT AT TENTED CAMP.
After breakfast drive to Jodhpur. 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, colour and texture, Jodhpur has them all and in plenty. 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. 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 Delhi, On arrival transfer to Airport / Railway Station for your onward journey.