A two week holiday in Rajasthan , through the Desert state, giving you an opportunity to stay in beautiful old forts and palaces, that have now been lovingly restored to fine Heritage hotels. The trip takes you through Mandawa, in the Shekhawati region (called the open air art gallery of Rajasthan), the desert cities of Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur and gives you the opportunity to stay in some of Rajathan’s best known Heritage hotels like the Neemrana Fort Palace, the Mandawa Castle, the Khimsar Fort, Rohetgarh and the Deogarh Mahal. The trip ends in Udaipur, the city of lakes, and often called the “Venice of the East”.
13 Nights / 14 Days
Day 01 – Arrive Delhi You will be met at the airport by Trans India Holidays representative of All India Tourism Hub and transferred to the hotel and assisted with check in formalities.
Delhi is the capital of India, and its third largest city. Delhi consists of two parts – New Delhi, the city created in 1911 as the imperial capital of India by the British and the Old Delhi, the Muslim capital of India between the 17th and 19th centuries. In fact there have been at least eight cities on the site of modern Delhi – the earliest known settlement, Indraprastha, featured in the epic Mahabharata over 3000 years ago. Though not always the capital, Delhi has always been an important city of northern region of the subcontinent.
Overnight in Delhi.
Day 02 – In Delhi After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken for a guided sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi. Tour includes visits to the following places of interest:
Red Fort: Derived from a Hindi word Lal, which means red and Quila which means fort. It is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon, surrounded by a wall of about 2.4 kms in circumference and is built of red sandstone. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. The fort has two main entrances, the Delhi Gate and the Lahori Gate, which faces the famed Chandni Chowk market. The fort has Diwan – e – Am (hall for public audience); Diwan – e – Khas (hall for private audience); Rang Mahal (a water-cooled apartment of royal ladies); Pearl mosque, built of white marble.
Jama Masjid: In Old Delhi, an architectural extravaganza of Shah Jahan, is the country’s largest mosque where thousands of Muslims offers prayers even today. It was built in 1658. The flight of stairs and its large courtyard are marvels of architecture.
Chandni Chowk (Silver Street): It is the colourful main street and shopping bazaar of Old Delhi and is today one of the country’s best known wholesale market for textiles, electronic goods and watches. The entire area was designed by Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter and was then inhabited by the well-to-do families of the time. Around the area is the famed Paranthawale Gali, known for its delicious paranthas, Dariba Kalan, the gold market and well-known sweetmeats shops.
Raj Ghat : On the banks of river Yamuna, a simple square platform of black marble marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948. A commemorative ceremony takes place each Friday, the day he was killed.
Birla Mandir: Close to Connaught Place, it was built by the industrialist Raja Baldev Birla in 1938. The temple is an important prayer site and contains idols of several deities.
India Gate: This 42 meter high, free standing arch was built in 1931.It was originally called All India War Memorial in the memory of the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian Army who died in World War I. The names of the soldiers are inscribed all along the walls of the arch. In 1971, the eternal flame was lit here to honour the Amar Jawan (Immortal Soldier).
Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House): It is the official residence of President of the country. Designed by Lutyens, it was the official residence of the Viceroy when the British ruled India.
Humayun’s Tomb: It was built by Haji Begum (widow of Humayun) in 1565 – 66, nine years after his death.
Qutub Minar: This magnificent structure in the southern part of the capital was built by the Muslim King; Qutab – ud – din Aibak in 1199 A.D. Minar (tower) is 72.5 meters high and has as its base a mosque.
Bahai’s Temple: It is a very recent architectural marvel of the Bahai fAll India Tourism Hub and is visible from several spots in South Delhi. It is a lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 03 – Drive Delhi – Neemrana (120 kms/03 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check out formalities. You will then start your drive to Neemrana. The Neemrana Fort Palace, located a little over two hours drive from Delhi, and almost midway between Delhi and Jaipur, is one of India’s oldest, and amongst the finest of Rajasthan’s Heritage hotels. Located on a hill , this sprawling Fort is built over 10 levels, with rooms and Suites, that are furnished with an eclectic mix of traditional Indian and colonial furniture, antiques and objets d’art. Most rooms have private balconies or terraces and the loos are designed to have views!
On arrival at Neemrana Fort, Check into the Neemrana Fort Palace. The rest of the day is at leisure. Activities here, include guided walks through the surrounding villages. The Fort now also has a swimming pool and well equipped Ayurvedic spa, for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Overnight at Neemrana Fort.
Day 04 – Drive Neemrana – Mandawa (220 kms/04 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at Neemrana Fort, you will then start your drive to Mandawa.
Mandawa – Mandawa, a small beautiful town, situated in the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. The semi-desert region of Shekhwati is popularly known as the ‘open-air art gallery’ of Rajasthan. Shekhawati, is unique as no-where else in the world there is such a hundreds of haveli’s, temples, cenotaphs, wells and forts.
On arrival at Mandawa, check into the Mandawa Castle. Set in the heart of the Shekhawati region(often called the largest open air art gallery in the world) of Rajasthan Castle Mandawa is an ideal base to discover the legacy of 18th Century frescoes that adorn the Havelies of this storybook town. With canopied balconies and turreted battlements, the Castle Mandawa offers modern comforts with an old world charm. The highlight of your stay is a royal repast where guests dine under the stars entertained by a Rajasthani fire dancer. A two hundred and forty year old fortress, which has been converted by the family into a fine example of traditional hospitality.
Afternoon, guided sightseeing tour of Mandawa including visits to Aath Haveli Complex, Anandilal Poddar Haveli, Bansidhar Bhagat Haveli & Chokhani Haveli.
Overnight at the Mandawa Castle.
Day 05 – Drive Mandawa – Bikaner (190 kms / 04 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at hotel, you will then start your drive to Bikaner.
Bikaner – Bikaner was founded by Rao Bika, second son of the founder of Jodhpur. The city figured importantly on the great caravan trade routes. A long city wall encircles the old city while all important buildings, including the fort and the palaces, are outside the city walls. The Ganga Canal, built between 1925 and 1927, brought prosperity to this otherwise arid desert region.
On arrival at Bikaner hotel, you will be assisted with check in formalities.
Later, you will be picked up from your hotel for a guided sightseeing tour of Bikaner. Tour includes visit to the following places of interest:
Junagarh Fort & Museum: The late sixteenth century fort was constructed by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Akbar, the Mughal emperor. It housed palaces inside and subsequent Maharajas added luxurious suites. Don’t miss the beautiful diwan-e-khas (private audience hall), Anup Mahal, Badal Mahal, Gaj Mandir and Hawa Mahal. A major feature of the fort and palaces is the superb quality of stone carvings.
Several rooms at the fort house an interesting collection of royal vestments, armory (enormous bore guns used from the back of camels), Maharaja Ganga Singh’s 56 kilogram suit of armour, sword with ivory and crystal handles and a biplane presented to Ganga Singhji by the British during World War I. There are supposed to be only two models of this plane in the world.
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum: Don’t miss the exhibits at this interesting museum. You can enjoy terracotta ware, traditional Rajasthani musical instruments, a miniature of the Royal Bikaner train, antique carpets and royal vestments. You can also see the royal decree of Prince Jehangir advising Rai Singh to immediately proceed to Delhi ‘as Emperor Akbar is dying. Overnight in Bikaner.
Day 06 – Drive Bikaner – Jaisalmer (330 kms / 05 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check out formalities. You will then start your drive to Jaisalmer, the next and perhaps the most exciting destination of your Rajasthan holiday.
Jaisalmer – Jaisalmer, the golden city of Thar Desert was founded in 1156 A.D. by Rawal Jaisal, the head of Bhati clan of Rajputs. This citadel town blossoms with intricately carved Havelies & Temples. Placid cows chew cud as life continues at its own pace in this medieval fortified wonder of the Great Indian Desert. This town with population of 40,000 is definite walking city & will transport you back in time. This town was declared a national heritage city in 1974 & it is our endeavors to preserve & protect it for your pleasure. The environs of Jaisalmer are home to many endangered desert flora & fauna. The great Indian bustard is our prized resident. “Aakal” Fossil Park is testimony of the antiquity of this region.
On arrival at Jaisalmer hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check in formalities.
No activities are scheduled for this day. Spend rest of the day enjoying the hotel facilities or exploring the city on your own. Overnight in Jaisalmer.
Day 07 – In Jaisalmer After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken for a guided sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer. Tour includes visits to the following places of interest:
Jaisalmer Fort: Built in 1156 by the Bhatti ruler, Jaisala, the fort stands atop the 80 metres high Trikuta Hill. The fort is surrounded by 3 walls and features 99 bastions. Over the centuries, the golden sandstone fortress witnessed many battles between the Bhattis, the Mughals and the Rathores of Jodhpur.
Jain Temples: Within the fort complex lie the beautifully carved Jain temples built between the 12th and the 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, Sambhavanth, Shantinath, Kunthunath and Rikhabdev Temple. The temples are all connected by a series of corridors and walkways. Closeby is the Gyan Bhandar, a library founded in 1500 AD. This houses priceless ancient manuscripts and other exhibits like astrological charts, besides the Jain equivalent of the Christian Shroud of Turin.
Laxminath Temple: It is located in the centre of the fort. The less ornate Hindu temple in the complex features an interesting dome that exhibits fine paintings.
Havelis: Jaisalmer’s strategic position on the camel train route brought 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 sandstone and wood, some of the havelis are still in excellent condition. The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis is the Patwon ki Haveli. The haveli was built between 1800 and 1860 by five Jain brothers. Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmal ki Haveli are the other two havelis that are open to visitors.
Gadi Sagar Tank: Once the source of water supply to the city. The tank is surrounded by shrines and temples and a variety of waterfowl can be spotted here in the winter months.
Evening, visit to the Sam Sand Dunes.
A trip to Jaisalmer is incomplete without this visit to the most panoramic Dunes of Sam, just outside the city of Jaisalmer, where the wind is unceasingly carving out scenic patterns on this desert Sand. Truly the essence of the desert, the ripples of the Dunes create a enchanting mirage, that stretches for miles and miles. The tour includes a short camel ride, which coupled with the brilliant sunset over the dunes, is a thrilling experience. It is also possible to take longer camel safaris in Rajasthan, particularly in the areas surrounding Jaisalmer.
Overnight in Jaisalmer..
Day 08 – Drive Jaisalmer – Khimsar (295 klms / 5 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check out formalities. You will then start your drive to Khimsar.
Khimsar – Perched high on the edge of the Great Thar Desert reflecting the rural India, the unique Khimsar fort offers a wide range of experiences to the tourist. The battle-scarred walls and turrets remind one of the glorious past in India. Today, the Khimsar Fort is counted amongst the premier classified heritage hotels of India.
On arrival at Khimsar, check into the Khimsar Fort, which in the opinion of most travelers is one of Rajasthan’s finest heritage hotels.
Afternoon you will be driven from the Khimsar Fort on World War II style four wheel drive vehicles through the nearby villages to an area considered as Black Buck Reserve. Black bucks are an endangered species of Deer, and only found in this area. The Jeep ride is about an hour and is followed by picnic tea atop the famous Panchala sand dunes to witness the sun dip into the marvelous desert countryside. Other optional activities at the Khimsar Fort include camel safaris to the nearby sand dunes.
Overnight at Khimsar Fort.
Day 09 –Drive Khimsar – Jodhpur – Rohetgarh (140 kms/03 hrs) After leisurely breakfast at Khimsar Fort, you will then start your drive to Rohet enroute visiting Jodhpur.
Jodhpur – Jodhpur is known as the ‘blue city’ because of its blue houses. The bustling desert city of Jodhpur stands at the edge of the Thar Desert and is the second largest city of Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city is distinguished by a massive fort that tops a sheer rocky ridge rising in the middle of the town. The old city is still surrounded by a 10 km long wall, built about a century after Jodhpur was founded. Eight gates lead out of the old city and there are plenty of fascinating walks through the jumble of winding streets Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the chief of a Rajput clan known as Rathores, Jodhpur was the capital of the Rathore kingdom and was called Marwar.
Sightseeing in Jodhpur, includes visits to the :
Mehrangarh Fort: Perched on a high hill, it takes five kilometres by a winding road to reach Mehrangarh – considered by many as the most impressive fort in the fort-studded Rajasthan. Originally built by Maharaja Jodha Rao, the fort was added to by successive rulers of Marwar. Of the seven massive gates to the fort, a few like Jayapol and Fatehpol were commemorative structures built to celebrate the Marwar rulers’ victories over various enemies. Inside the fort is a series of courtyards and palaces. Entered through Surajpol, the Jodhpur Museum houses an excellent collection of artifacts of Rajasthan.
Jaswant Thaada: While in Jodhpur, remember to visit this white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. After sightseeing, continue your drive to Rohetgarh.
On arrival at Rohet, check into the Rohetgarh, a charming heritage hotel.
Rohet Garh , located just 45 kms from Jodhpur, is a classified Heritage Hotel. Over the course of fifteen years it has been nurtured and developed with great love and care by the family into one of the finest Heritage hotels in the country. No new building has been added in the renovation process, but rather, old edifices have been skillfully redesigned to create a heritage property that has few parallels. Situated on the banks of a lake and set in the midst of rural surroundings, it is a haven of peace and tranquility. A superb swimming pool with four charming pavilions entices you for a refreshing dip. Often dinner is served by the poolside as folk musicians enliven the evening atmosphere. An elegant, beautifully appointed lounge, serene verandahs, and terraces with breathtaking views, make perfect venues for relaxation. Overnight at Rohet Garh.
Day 10 – In Rohet The morning is at leisure to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Afternoon, short camel safari through the nearby Bishnoi Village’s. Overnight at Rohet Garh.
Day 11 – Drive Rohet – Deogarh (200 kms/04 hrs)
After leisurely breakfast at Rohet Garh, you will then start your drive to Deogarh.
Deogarh : Ideally positioned in the heart of the Aravalli Hills, owned and run by one of the kindest, most affable families around, they have restored their family fort from near ruin and have created one of Rajasthan’s finest heritage hotels. A stunning swimming pool and dining room, endless comfortable roof terraces, and the beautiful, traditional bedrooms are the result of a great deal of hard work, immense love and care, and superb taste. The surrounding village is one of the friendliest and safest to immerse yourself in and the neighboring countryside boasts wonderful, secluded picnic spots.
On arrival at Deogarh. Check into the Deogarh Mahal, another one of the very charming heritage hotels in Rajasthan.
The rest of the day is at leisure to either relax or explore the surrounding village with its colorful bazaars on your own. Overnight at Deogarh Mahal.
Day 12 – Drive Deogarh – Udaipur (140 kms/3 hrs). After leisurely breakfast at Deogarh Mahal, you will then start your drive to Udaipur.
Udaipur – Udaipur, the famed ‘city of sunrise’, was founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, a fearless Rajput king. This languid lake city with its fantasies in marble, picturesque hibiscus-covered gardens and elaborate fountain pavilions, embodies the glory of the Rajput era. Like many other cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur is the legacy of an honour-bound race that loved the good things in life – and often gave up their lives defending them.
On arrival at Udaipur hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check in formalities.
Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own.
Overnight in Udaipur.
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken for a guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur. Tour includes visits to the following places of interest:
City Palace: The imposing City Palace, towering over the lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum with a large and varied collection of glass, porcelain figures and miniature paintings.
Jagdish Temple: It is located only 150 mts from the city palace is the famous Jagdish Temple. This fine Indo-Aryan Temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651 and enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the universe. A brass image of the Garuda is in a shrine in front of the temple.
Saheliyon Ki Bari: The Saheliyon ki bari or the garden of the Maids of Honour, is in the north of the city. It is a small ornamental garden with fountains, stone elephants and a delightful lotus pool.
Lake Pichola: Deriving its name from Pichali village, it is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. There are two island palaces, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir. The former was the summer residence of princes of Mewar and has now been converted into a hotel. Jag Mandir is built of red sandstone with a marble dome. Evening enjoyboat cruise on Lake Pichola – the shimmering waters of the Lake combined with the City Palace in the background, serve as a magical way to end your day in Udaipur.
Overnight in Udaipur..
Day 14 – Depart Udaipur After leisurely breakfast at hotel, you will be met by our representative of All India Tourism Hub and assisted with check-out formalities. Then you will be transferred to airport in time to board flight for onward destination.