Rajasthan Heritage - Taj Mahal
Duration : 17 Nighths / 18 Days
Destination Covered : Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Udaipur - Kota - Chittaurgarh - Pushkar - Bundi - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi
Day 01 : Arrive Delhi
Arrive by International flight, after traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our representative would assist you at airport and transfer to hotel overnight stay.
Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds the ancient with modern. Its strategic location was the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. In fact, more mythological cities are believed to be here, like the city of Indraprastha from the Hindu epic Mahabharata, founded around 5000 BC. Numerous monuments were built over several centuries by different rulers like Qutub-ud-din Aibek, Alauddin Khilji, Tughlaks, Humayun & Shah Jahan, who built the Walled City Shah Jahanabad.
Later in first half of 20th century much of New Delhi was planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who laid out a grandiose central administrative area as a testament to British rule in India. The division in walled city & New Delhi also marks the division in life styles. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi
Today we take a guided tour of Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of Shah Jahanabad, Visiting the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi. Built in the year 1656 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is the largest & best known mosque in India. Later we walk down or take a rickshaw ride through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shah Jahanabad now a picturesque bazaar to reach Red Fort, built in the year 1648 by Shah Jehan.
In New Delhi, we visit Raj Ghat, memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January 1948. Further we drive past India Gate, memorial built in the year 1931 to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the World War I & the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls. President's House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931. Until 1950 it was known as Viceroy's House & served as the residence of the Governor-General of British India.
We will also visit Humayun's Tomb, memorial of Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in the year 1562. The complex is a World Heritage Site & the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. Qutub Minar, built in the year 1206 by Qutub-ud-din Aibek. It is the tallest (72m) brick minaret in the world, an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. Qutub Minar & its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Optional - Sound & Light Show at Red Fort with dinner at Chor Bizarre. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 : Delhi - Mandawa, 242 km
Morning after breakfast drive to Mandawa, on arrival check in at the hotel, on arrival check in at the hotel, In the afternoon visit Fort and Havelies. Overnight at hotel.
Mandawa : Mandawa lies in the heart of Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, India and is basically a municipal town of the Jhunjhunu district. Mandawa is also known as Rajasthan's 'open art gallery', as the entire region is adorned with artistically painted havelis, mansions and homes. Some of the popular havelis that have become important tourist destinations are the Ladia haveli, the Chokhan haveli, the Binsidhar haveli, the Gulab Rai haveli and the Newatia haveli.
Day 04 : Mandawa - Bikaner, 164 km
Morning after breakfast drive to Bikaner, on arrival check in at the hotel. In the afternoon visit Junagarh fort, Lalgarh Palace, Mata Karni Temple. Overnight in the hotel.
Bikaner : Bikaner lies north of Jodhpur, its reddish-pink stone rising out of miles of barren thorn and scrub. Rao Jodha's sixth son, Bika (after whom the city of Bikaner is named), must have found nothing more than this wilderness when he rode out here in search of greener pastures to conquer, but he was obviously undeterred. The Rathore clansmen set out from Mandore the same year that his father shifted his capital to Jodhpur. Taking with him three hundred zealous retainers, they massacred the first opposing clan they encountered. Next they came in touch with a branch of the Bhattis of Jaisalmer who had settled in the region, and Bika married one of the daughters of the chief. Using this settlement as a base he was able to extend his sway over the entire region. Having secured the submission of the Bhattis, and later of the Jats in the region, he founded his capital Bikaner here.
Day 05 : Bikaner - Jaisalmer, 333 km
After breakfast, drive to Jaisalmer. Arrive Jaisalmer in the evening and transfer to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Jaisalmer : Jaisalmer, another princely state of Rajasthan is a paradise of the desert kingdom. Summarizing the allure of the desert, the splendid Jaisalmer nestles in the foothills of Trikuta.
Jaisalmer is a desert city and instantly invokes number of images in the mind of travellers. The word itself provokes an image of deserted land with camel swiftly moving on the golden sands. The city is almost enticing and for domestic travellers as it is to foreign tourists. Standing in pride with its colossal forts, palaces and havelis, Jaisalmer showcases the artistic sense of the Rajput kings.
The city is awesome to cover in cool season. Th city is actually divided into nearly two equal halves. The town is smal enough to be covered on foot. If not less, try spending atleast 4 days in the city, only then you would get a full coverage of beautiful city.
Day 06 : Jaisalmer
After breakfast, city sightseeing tour, visit Jaisalmer Fort, Jain Temple, Patwon ki Haweli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and Nathmal ki Haveli evening visit for Sand Dunes, enjoy culture programme & camel safari. In the evening return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Jaisalmer - Jodhpur, 290 km
After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur. Arrive Jodhpur, on arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Jodhpur : Located on the periphery of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. According to one fable when Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana wanted to cross the ocean to rescue his wife Sita, who had been abducted by the demon-king Ravana, he was turned back by the Sea-God. Furious, Rama mounted his arrow to dry up the ocean forcing the Lord of the Sea to retreat. However the arrow once mounted had to be discharged, and Rama fired it into another body of water located in western Rajasthan, thus drying it up. This is the area known as Marwar or Marusthali or the land of the dead.
Day 08 : Jodhpur - Ranakpur, 180 km
Morning after breakfast city sightseeing out of Jodhpur visit including Meharangarh Fort, Umed Bhawan, Jaswant Thada. In the afternoon drive to Ranakpur, on arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09 : Ranakpur - Udaipur, 90 km
After breakfast, visit Jain temple. Beautiful sculptured Jain temples mark the glory of this renowned place. Marked as one of the five holy places for the Jain community, these were created in the 15 the century. During the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central Chaumukha [four faced temple] is dedicated to Adinathji the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars all distinctly carved and no two being alike is a amazing evidence of the genius sense of architecture that enhances the charm of the place. Every temple has this conceivable surface carved with equal delicacy.
In the afternoon drive to Udaipur. On arrival at Udaipur check in at the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Udaipur : Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities of Rajasthan, it is located on the banks of lake Pichola, also known as a 'Jewel of Mewar'. The most romantic city of India can take the tourist into paroxysm of heaven. The center of attraction vibrates around the shimmering blue waters and the royal white marble palaces constructed with unique artistic insight. This remarkably chiseled out Lake Palaces shines like a jewel on Lake Pichhola certainly enchants the tourist and overwhelms them with its charm.
Lake Palace : Also known as Jag Niwas, the palace was built by Maharaja Jagat Singh II, after whom it has been named. Situated on Lake Pichola, it appears to be floating on the lake, and its huge structure and exquisite beauty leaves one spellbound!
City Palace : The largest palace of Rajasthan, it is also one of the largest in the world. It represents the architectural and artistic evolution of Mewar over the centuries. The palace is divided into various sections, each with its own distinctive style.
Saheliyon ki Bari : Designed by Maharaja Sangram Singh II in the 18th century, this garden was the picnic spot for the 48 royal ladies who were offered to the prince as dowry. The gardens here have lush green lawns & beautiful fountains in the shape of birds - presenting a wonderful sight!.
Day 10 : Udaipur
Morning after breakfast city sightseeing tour, of Jaipur visit including City Palace, Lake Palace, Saheliyon ki bari. Arrive Jaipur in the evening and transfer to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 11 : Udaipur - Chittaurgarh, 133 Km
After breakfast at the hotel drive Chittaurgarh, On arrival check in at the hotel. In the afternoon city sightseeing tour visit including the Chittaurgarh Fort, Rana Kumbha's Palace, Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame), Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower). Overnight at hotel.
(The he pride and glory of Rajasthan,Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and vlour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular chattris.
This fortified settlement has been ravaged thrice and each time the outcome was 'Jauhar'-when women and children immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre while men donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.
Alauddin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur in 1303 A.D. overpowered by a passionate desire to possess the regal beauty, queen Padmini. Legend has it, that he saw her face in the reflection of a mirror and was struck by her mesmerising beauty. But the noble queen preferred death to dishonour and committed 'Jauhar'. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always asserted the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors).
Day 12 : Chittaurgarh - Pushkar (191 km)
Morning drive to Pushkar, on arrival check in at the hotel. In the afternoon visit the Pushkar lake, the Brahma temple. Overnight at hotel.
Pushkar: Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms. to the North-West of Ajmer. The charm of this sleepy, lakeside settlement so captivated the great Indian poet, Kalidas, that it found a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha. Evidence points to its having existed during the fourth century B.C. lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle. An aerial view of Pushkar.
The legend about the Creator God, Bramha describes the creation of this lake. When the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where a lake sprung into being. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima (the full moon day of the Kartik month), hallowing the place. Sacred to Brahma, Pushkar boasts of its temple dedicated to him, which is the only one of its kind in the world. A dip in the waters of Pushkar and worship at his temple ensure salvation. So thousands flock to Pushkar to observe the ritual on kartik Purnima, or on any of the four days preceding it.
Day 13 : Pushkar - Jaipur, 144 km
After breakfast, visit Brahma temple and pushkar lake, then drive to Jaipur. Arrive Jaipur in the evening and transfer to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 14 : Fullday City Tour of Jaipur
Morning an excursion tour of Amer Fort, In the afternoon Visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Observatory, Hawa Mahal etc.
Optional - Chokhi Dhani
An evening excursion to Chokhi Dhani complex, ethnic village resort located at a distance of 15 km from Jaipur. Rajasthani village atmosphere is recreated on the sprawling ground & includes the entertainment by folk dancers & musicians. Later drive back to hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Amber Fort : At a short distance of 11 kms . from Jaipur, the Amer Fort complex stands amidst wooded hills overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, with its forbidding ramparts reflected in the still waters of the Maota Lake below. One of the finest examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawah rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh. Within the palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience" and the Sukh Niws where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning. Here are the private chambers of the queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could watch the proceedings of the royal court inprivacy. There is also the Jai Mandir or the "Temple of Vicotry", with its famed Sheesh Mahal, the scintillating "Hall of Mirrors".
Jaipur (Sheer Symphony in Pink): The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, is colour washed pink - the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. Built in 1727 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur displays a remarkable harmony and architectural splendour. The ancient heart of the Pink City still beats in its fairy-tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues that dot the entire city. The only planned city of its time, a formidable wall encircles Jaipur. There is a timeless appeal to Jaipur's colourful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets. Beautiful laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvelous heritage hotels, once the residence of Maharajas, are worth admiration. Not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi-hued costumes make your trip to the pink city a memorable one.
Day 15 : Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra, 250 km
Today we drive to Agra, en route we will visit Fatehpur Sikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. We visit Emperor Akbar's Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti.
Further we continue our drive to Agra, beautifully situated on the banks of river Yamuna. It achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Emperors from the year 1526 to 1628, remains major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri, all three are UNESCO World Heritage sites. On arrival check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Fatehpur Sikri : Fatehpur Sikri, 38 km from Agra, was one of the capital cities of Akbar after the childless Mughal was blessed with a son with the blessings of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti, who lived here. The new capital came up in 1569. Through the Juxtaposition of the buildings seems whimsical, they are thoughtfully planned, imparting an atmosphere of playful brilliance. Towering, walls on three sides surround the rectangular-shaped city, accessible through nine gates, and an artificial lake is located on the west. Credit for preserving the monuments goes to Lord Curzon. These protected monuments and the city's environs are well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Day 16 : Agra
Today we visit Taj Mahal, symbol of eternal love, which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan in the year 1631 in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was completed in 22 years. Further we visit Agra Fort, taken over from the Lodhis by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. The Fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city. It was built from red sandstone, often inlaid with white marble & intricate decorations.
We will also visit Sikandara, Akbar's tomb. His son Jahangir completed the construction of the tomb in the year 1613. Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, built by Nur Jahan between 1622 and 1628. It belongs to the father of Nur Jahan, Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg. He was the Wajir (Chief Minister of Emperor Jehangir). This white marble tomb was. This tomb was the first complete marble Mughal structure. Later transfer to the hotel for overnight at hotel.
Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world-the "TAJ MAHAL". The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is know for its superb inlay work on the marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.
Day 17 : Agra - Delhi via Mathura & Vrindavan 220 km
Morning after breakfast drive back to Delhi, en route visit Mathura & Vrindavan, places related with the birth & childhood of Lord Krishna. In Mathura we visit Shri Krishna Janmabhumi temple, a stone slab marks the original birth place of Krishna. In Vrindavan we visit Bankey Bihari Temple, built in the year 1864. Temple is famous for the black statue of Krishna, also called as Thakur Ji. ISKCON Temple, one of the most beautiful temples in Vrindavan. Temple is devoted to Krishna, his brother Balaram & Krishna's beloved Radha. On arrival at Delhi transfer to the international airport to board the flight for onward destination.
Tour and Services Ends.