Rajasthan in Depth and Varanasi

tours / Adventure

Rajasthan in Depth and Varanasi information and booking

from
$3390
  • Duration
    15 days
    Days
  • Group size
    2-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 15 day trip
  • 6 nights heritage hotel
  • 8 nights hotel
Equipment Required
There is no specialised equipment required for this trip however a suggested gear list is supplied in the pre-departure information provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Spectacular Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Pink City of Jaipur
  • Udaipur, the most romantic city in Rajasthan
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the River Ganges
  • Jodhpur's spectacular Mehrangarh Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Rajasthan is a land of princely grandeur, once a patchwork of independent states ruled by princes. This journey of discovery provides an endless panorama of mighty hill forts, bejewelled palaces, vibrant markets and desert villages. Beginning in Delhi we travel to Udaipur, undoubtedly the most romantic city in Rajasthan. Our journey continues to blue-hued Jodhpur at the foot of the massive Mehrangarh Fort. Jaipur is an essential stop on any tour of Rajasthan. The old, walled section of the city is known as the Pink City and its rose-colored buildings are protected by high fortifications. Ranthambore is one of the prime tiger habitats in India and on safari we keep a keen eye out to spot a tiger lolling in the sun. In Agra discover the Mughal splendours of Akbar's impressive Red Fort and the white marble masterpiece of the Taj Mahal. The next leg of our journey takes us to India's holiest city, Varanasi, and we rise early to take a boat ride on the holy waters of the Ganges to watch the pilgrims and yogis purifying themselves in the river.

What's included

  • 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Airport transfer (day 1 only)
  • Private car and driver
  • Comfortable hotel accommodation and heritage hotels on a twin share basis
  • Internal flights from delhi to udaipur one-way, and delhi to varanasi return
  • Ganges boat ride
  • Sightseeing with local guides including entrance fees
  • Jungle safari

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Delhi
Upon arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel (check in 1400 hours). There are no activities planned for the rest of the day so you are free to explore this bustling capital city. India’s capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but certainly one of the most interesting. Delhi comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to this Muslim history. New Delhi is the imperial city created as India’s capital by the British, intricately planned and comprises of imposing buildings displaying various modern styles of architecture. For those arriving early, explore some of the many attractions on your own - explore the Janatar Mantar, wander the local markets, catch the metro anywhere, visit the Crafts Museum, Indira Gandhi Museum or Birla House (the site of Gandhi’s assassination) or relax in the magical Lodi Gardens. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2 Fly to Udaipur
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Udaipur. Udaipur, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Undoubtedly the most romantic city in Rajasthan, and perhaps the whole of India, Udaipur is centred around Lake Pichola and has inevitably been dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’. Soaking up the atmosphere of Udaipur we stay two nights at the charming Swaroop Vilas.
Day 3 Udaipur sightseeing
Today we will spend a full day exploring Udaipur, the city palace and Saheliyon-ki-Bari garden, built in early 18th century AD as a retreat for ladies of the royal household to spend their time in leisure. The enchantingly beautiful garden is famous for its lotus pool, fountains, lush green lawns, flowerbeds, and marble pavilions. This afternoon enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Despite the many attractions in and around the city, the real joy of Udaipur lies in soaking up its atmosphere – taking in the view from a rooftop restaurant, wandering around the relatively hassle-free inner-city or enjoying a drink on the edge of the lake. Overnight: Swaroop Vilas
Day 4 Drive to Jodhpur, en route visit the Jain temples of Ranakpur
This morning journey by road to Jodhpur (276 km – 6 hour) en route visiting the beautifully sculpted Jain temples of Ranakpur. Jodhpur is the land of the valiant Rathore kings, whose courage was a match for the tyranny of the Thar Desert. Spend two nights in Jodhpur at the Park Plaza.
Day 5 Sightseeing in Jodhpur, visit Bishnoi village by jeep
This morning we visit a Bishnoi village by jeep. The Bishnois are a fascinating community which follows the 29 (bish-noi) tenets laid down by the 15th century Guru Jambeshwar. They fervently believe in the sanctity of animal and plant life so all animals live near their villages without fear. When a Bishnoi dies, he is sometimes buried in the sitting position and often placed at the threshold of the house or adjoining cattle shed. A Bishnoi believes he will later be reincarnated as a deer, hence the herds of blackbuck often seen near their villages. This afternoon visit Meharangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada and the Clock Tower. Meherangarh Fort situated on a 125-m-high hill, is the most impressive fort in Rajasthan. It includes a complex of palaces and museums that reflect the rich cultural history of the region. From the upper ramparts of the fort, we will have 360 degree views of the entire city. Overnight: Park Plaza.
Day 6 Drive to Jaipur
Today we start early to journey by road to Jaipur (335 km – 8 hours). On arrival check in to our hotel, the Alsisar Haveli (or similar). Tucked away in the heart of the pink city, more than five centuries ago, the grandson of Maharaja Udaikaran of Amer, Rao Shekhaji, founded the sub-clan popularly known as ‘Shekhawat’. This haveli is owned by this branch of the Kachawa clan of Rajputs. The descendants of the family have restructured and refurbished their haveli into this wonderful heritage hotel. With a population of over 3 million people, Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Day 7 Morning excursion to Amber Fort, afternoon sightseeing in Jaipur
After breakfast at the hotel, we head out on a morning excursion to the Amber Fort (excluding Elephant ride), the honey coloured fortress-palace in the Aravalli Hills just north of the town centre. The sombre exterior belies the richness of the royal apartments, which open to striking views of the gorge. The Hall of Victory presents a galaxy of decorative art - panels of alabaster with fine inlay work of the tenderness hues and the intriguing Chamber of Mirrors. We have an afternoon city tour of Jaipur including a visit to the City Palace, now a museum that contains fine Rajput and Moghul paintings, rare manuscripts and an armory, old carpets, and even amazingly embroidered clothes of the Maharajas and the Maharanis, and Observatory. Overnight: Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur.
Day 8 To Ranthambore
This morning journey by road to Sawai Madhopur (175km – 4 hours). Check in for a two night stay at the Ranthambhore Regency. The rest of the day is free to explore Sawai Madhopur town.
Day 9 Ranthambore National Park
Today you will have a early morning and late afternoon jungle safari (open topped truck seating 20) in the National Park which is only 12km from town. Of all places to view tigers in India, the best odds for sighting a tiger are in Ranthambore, with its tiger population of around 20. Other animals that you may spot whilst on safari include leopard, sloth bears, jackals, palm civets, crocodiles and a vast array of birdlife and reptiles. Flora enthusiasts will also be impressed by the range of trees, shrubs and flowers that are found within the park. Overnight: Ranthambhore Regency
Day 10 Drive to Agra, en route visit Fatehpur Sikri
This morning we will have breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Agra (294km – 6 hours). En route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri was built in red sandstone by Emperor Akbar the Great in 1569 and deserted 14 years later because its water supply failed. Its glorious courtyards and palaces conjure up dreams of the mysterious past. There’s the imperial Jami Masjid, the tomb of Shaik Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of Akbar’s son Jehangir, the Panch Mahal, a strange building which resembles a Buddhist temple, a cloistered courtyard which was the Hall of Public Audience and the Pachchisi paved with black and white where the Emperor played chess using slave girls as figurines. We arrive in Agra and check in to our hotel The Grand Imperial Hotel (or similar) for our two night stay. The 100 year old The Grand Imperial is constructed of biscuit bricks commonly referred to as Lahori bricks, which were also used in the construction of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Post World War II, the Imperial Hotel, as it was then known, played host to distinguished guests such as The Crown Prince of England and Japan and Prince Aga Khan and others.
Day 11 Visit Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Today we visit Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal (closed to visitors on Fridays). Built by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal the beauty of the Taj Mahal is unmatched. On the death of his beloved wife, in wild extravagance, Shah Jahan built her this memorial. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone. The Agra Fort, with its grand courtyards, royal pavilions and palaces, it is a fitting testimony to the Great Moghuls – Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – during the era when Agra was the capital of the Moghul Empire. The most impressive part of the Fort is the Dewan-e-Am, where the Emperor sat on his throne to dispense to his subjects, and the Dewan-e-Khas where he received foreign dignitaries. We also visit Itimad-ud-Daulah, known as the ‘Baby Taj’; it was built before the Taj Mahal by Nur Jahan, queen of Jehangir, for her parents. The first Mughal building to be faced with white marble and where ‘pietra dura’, (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used. Agra is a great place to try barbecue meats (kebabs) mixed with Indian spices. Petha, pieces of white pumpkin dipped in sugar syrup, and Gajak, a crumbly sweet made with sesame and jaggery, are delicious local sweets and sold everywhere - try them.
Day 12 Drive to Delhi
Drive to Delhi (205 km – 3 ½ hours). Arrive Delhi and proceed to the airport hotel. Overnight: Airport Hotel
Day 13 Fly to Varanasi
Flight to Varanasi. On arrival in Varanasi, you will be met by a representative of our local agent and the remainder of the day is free for you to explore town. Overnight: Rivatas by Ideal
Day 14 Morning Ganges boat ride and sightseeing
Early this morning we head to the ghats for an unforgettable sunrise over the Ganges. A principle attraction is the long string of bathing ghats where pilgrims make their early morning cleansing wash in the river and the burning ghats where pilgrims are cremated before their last journey down the Ganges. Varanasi is steeped with religious history and culture and the great temples and mosques provide for a fascinating insight into the heart of Indian culture.
Day 15 Fly to Delhi, trip concludes
Transfer to airport for your flight to Delhi. Trip concludes.