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Rajasthan - A Soul Uplifting Experience

This holiday with your Rajasthan tour operatoris about starting on a clean slate; giving back to the society and acting responsibly towards the environment. It’s about feeling this instilling bond with the local people that you will reminiscence for years to come on this Rajasthan Cultural Tour. Abond that will make you yearn for India like anything. Move forward by going back in time, as you take a guided tour of the Taj Mahal. At Jaipur, be a responsible tourist as you visit a local school and give away pencils, pens and books to the children; connect with locals as you take part in Kite flying. Forget your worries as you sip a cocktail at sundown in Jaisalmer. For the enthusiastic bunch, behold the sight of majestic leopards of Bera. In the final leg of the holiday you reach city of lakes, Udaipur which is an important part of Rajasthan Tourism.

In the morning we check out from the hotel after breakfast and drive to Jaipur. We stop en route for the FatehpurSikri tour, located 40 Km from Agra. The deserted city of FatehpurSikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti.

Dinner with an Indian Family, Jaipur

The experience of Jaipur Cultural Tourstarts with an opportunity to dine and taste the hospitality of an Indian family in their private home. Your hosts will go an extra mile to teach you how to cook traditional Mewari food and will charm you with stories of the royal splendor of Pink City over lunch or dinner. The interactive cooking sessions are usually elementary and carefully planned keeping in mind the comfort level of the guests. After tasting a delicious home cooked Indian meal, you cannot stop praising about the experience to your family and friends back home. Your hosts will take you along to the local markets to source the ingredients and you will cherish every moment of plucking fresh vegetables from their kitchen garden.

After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for the Jaisalmer tour. Founded by Prince Jaisal in 1156, it was a major staging post on the trade route across the Thar Desert. The first glimpse of the honey colored walls of the fort, rising out of the hot and barren desert is magical. Untouched by time, Jaisalmer, with its golden crenulated walls, narrow streets lined with exquisite havelis, has a medieval ambience. The fort, often referred to as the "Golden Fort' because of the color of the stone, encloses palaces decorated with delicate jali or lattice worked screens, carved doors and flora carvings, and elaborately carved 12th to 16th century Jain temples.

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Narlai and en route stop at Jodhpur city. The Jodhpur cultural tour starts with a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort, an impregnable fortress towering above a 10km wall with soaring archways leading into the center. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. The museum displays an unusual collection of miniature paintings, gilded palanquins and solid silver “howdah” presented by a Mughal emperor to the Maharaja.

15 Days

Route

Start From

Delhi

Ends Here

Delhi

Highlights

  • Discover the splendours of Mughal Delhi and the eternal Taj Mahal
  • Stay in a Maharajah's mansion and experience life in rural Rajasthan
  • Explore the wonders of Jaipur - the Pink City
  • ”Act Responsibly” as you visit a local school to giveaway pens, pencils and books to the children
  • Connect with locals as you take part in Kite Flying
  • Game drive to track the ever elusive Leopard

Optional Experiences

  • Kingdom Of Dreams, Gurgaon
  • Dinner with an Indian Family
  • Taj Nature Walk, Agra
  • Dinner with an Indian Family, Jaipur
  • Balloon Ride, Jaipur
  • Balloon Ride
  • Sound and Light Show at City Palace, Udaipur
  • Sound and Light Show at City Palace
  • Exclusive Dinner at Devi Garh by lebua, Udaipur
  • Learn to Cook with Udaipur's Aristocracy
  • Dinner at an exclusive venue at Devi Garh Palace by Lebua
  • Hi Tea at Jagmandir
  • Learn to Cook with Udaipur's Aristocracy
  • Hi Tea at Jagmandir

Best time to Visit

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Days

Day 2 Delhi

Rickshaw Ride in Chandni Chowk, Delhi

After breakfast we leave for sightseeing tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi.

 

Old Delhi came into prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. You visit 300 year old Chandni Chowk market. A maze of lanes crowded with shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and food, the noise and crowds are a quintessential part of Chandni Chowk. From here you continue to the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque designed by Shah Jahan. In complete contrast to the noise and crowds of Old Delhi, is Raj Ghat a simple memorial of  Mahatma Gandhi, the main architect of India's independence. .

 

During afternoon, we take our tour of New Delhi and visit Qutab Minar. From there our next stop is Humayun's tomb, built by mother of Emperor Akbar. It is believed that it was this mausoleum, which inspired Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. Later, we drive past India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House. Afterwards return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Optional Inspiring Experiences

Kingdom Of Dreams, Gurgaon

Situated in the millennium city of Gurgaon in the outskirts of Delhi, Kingdom of Dreams is a unique entertainment complex whose exterior façade resembles that of a Maharaja Palace of the bygone era. The majestic dome shaped structure painted in gold stands apart amongst the high-rise structures of the city and appears to be an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. Upon entering the building, you will be awestruck to see the exquisite interiors which have been designed keeping in mind the intricate details of the concept. The large auditorium is the centre of activity which brings to you live a fairy tale of a Gypsy Prince in the form of a musical show with amazing special effects and high-tech wizardry, every day. The breathtaking dance performances by a group of dancers with the help of digital media are pure entertainment for children and adults alike. They cannot stop clapping in appreciation watching the show which is a result of tremendous hard work by a team of actors, dancers and technicians. The complex also hosts an indoor food court where you can sample Indian delicacies from various states. 

Day 3 Delhi – Agra

  • 204 km

  • 3 hr

Taj Mahal

After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Agra. Post Lunch we leave by Tonga (Horse Carriage) to the visit the world famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy. It took 17 years to complete this 'Love Poem in Marble'. Afterwards we return to our hotel for breakfast. Rest of the morning is at leisure.

 

Next we visit Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 & 1573, which reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 4 Agra – Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri

  • 265 km

  • 5 hr

Fatehpur Sikri

In the morning we check out from the hotel after breakfast and drive to Jaipur. We stop en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri, located 40 Km from Agra. The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti.

 

Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the 'Ghost City' including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.

 

Afterwards continue your drive to Jaipur. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival. Rest of the day is free to explore the pink city of Jaipur and colourful markets on your own. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Optional Inspiring Experiences

Taj Nature Walk, Agra

Roughly 600 meters north-east to Taj lies a reserve forest with ravines which provides a unique view to the Taj. Amidst natural environs, the Taj can be observed in different hues and shades from the mounds of the forest. In this Nature Walk tour, every mound is correlated to the historical, literary and cultural heritage of Brij-bhumi. On the Taj Natural Walk along the banks of River Yamuna, you get to view the moment from its posterior end and the old city of Agra which has seen many empires flourish on its soil. This unique experience makes for the perfect Taj Natural Walking Tour in India. A kilometre-long walk takes you down the memory lane of the Mughal Era as you experience the old-world charm of India.

Dinner with an Indian Family, Jaipur

This experience gives you an opportunity to dine and taste the hospitality of an Indian family in their private home. Your hosts will go an extra mile to teach you how to cook traditional Mewari food and will charm you with stories of the royal splendor of Pink City over lunch or dinner. The interactive cooking sessions are usually elementary and carefully planned keeping in mind the comfort level of the guests. After tasting a delicious home cooked Indian meal, you cannot stop praising about the experience to your family and friends back home. Your hosts will take you along to the local markets to source the ingredients and you will cherish every moment of plucking fresh vegetables from their kitchen garden.

Day 5 Jaipur

Elephant Ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur

After breakfast we leave for an excursion to Amber Fort. A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride (subject to availability) all the way up to the Fort entrance. This journey on caparisoned elephants is bound to enrich your memories with the royal lifestyle of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. En route to Amber Fort from your hotel, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds.

 

In the afternoon, we tour the city of Jaipur. We first visit the Maharaja's City Palace, the former royal residence part of which is converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the royal family of Jaipur. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers.

 

Later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. We finish our city tour with a walk through the busy lanes of the city. Afterwards return to hotel for overnight stay.

Optional Inspiring Experiences

Balloon Ride

If you've never taken a balloon ride then take this adventure tour. Hot air balloon ride is a beautiful way of experiencing the Pink City Jaipur in Rajasthan from above as you fly over its majestic forts and palaces. The ride provides you with an opportunity of viewing the sunset over the Aravallis, sandy stretches, green plains, and small townships and villages from the height of 5000 ft. above the crowded city.

Evening dinner at Narain Niwas Palace, a boutique heritage property converted into a five star hotel followed by folk dance performances by local artists. USD 56 per person (minimum 02 Pax).

Day 14 Udaipur

Photo Credit: Benjamin Vander Steen Sadhus at Jagdish Temple, Udaipur

After breakfast at the hotel, we tour the romantic city of Udaipur known for its lakes and palaces, cradled in the hills of the Aravalli range. The name itself "The City of sunrise" evokes a sense of romance.

 

We first visit the City Palace - the focal point of the city which has several areas of interest like the Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Mor Chowk (the peacock courtyard), and the Zenana Mahal. Next we visit the Jagdish Temple, located close to the Palace with its imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. Finally, stop by to visit Sahelion ki bari Gardens or the ‘Garden of Maids’ ; built under the expert guidance of Maharana Sangram Singh II. it is believed that the garden was constructed for 48 maids who accompanied the Maharana's wife as dowry.

 

In the afternoon, we visit the Crystal Gallery at Fateh Prakash Palace, probably the single largest collection of crystal in the world. It was in 1877 that Maharana Sajjan Singh ordered the crystal collection from Birmingham based F & C Osler Company, including objects d’art, furniture, washing bowls. The gallery also houses the only crystal bed in the world.

 

Late afternoon, we take a boat ride at Lake Pichola, 4-Km long and 3-Km broad, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace, Jag Mandir that is beautifully set in the lake. Return to hotel in the evening for overnight stay.

Optional Inspiring Experiences

Exclusive Dinner at Devi Garh by lebua, Udaipur

This experience has been planned to splurge you in the luxury and royal hospitality of Devi Garh Palace. Situated amidst Aravali Hills, 28kms away from Udaipur stands Devi Garh Palace a heritage hotel and resort famous for hosting celebrity weddings and theme parties. Built in the 17th century, Devi Garh Palace was the residence of royal Delwara rulers and was restored and converted into a luxury retreat in 1999. The restoration of palace was a massive effort which took 15 years with the help about 800 workers. The majestic white marble entrance and aesthetically designed corridors and lobby give you an insight into the finer details kept in mind while constructing this excellent piece of architecture. An open air dinner in the landscaped gardens of Devi Garh Palace with breath taking views of the city below is a grand experience. You get to savor ethnic Indian cuisine while watching Rajasthani folk dance performances that will caste a magical spell on you. 

Learn to Cook with Udaipur's Aristocracy

Our Culinary Sessions are inspirational hands on experience, where you will work with fantastic fresh produce, cooking authentic Mewari food with housewives from former Udaipur Aristocracy, who have zealously guarded their recipes for many generations now. You will be involved in fascinating market trips with your host and also pick ingredients from the local farms or gardens. This experience has to be pre-booked before clients land in India. Best time - October to March. If you want your clients to accompany the host to the market, you need to inform them beforehand and plan the day's sightseeing in Udaipur accordingly. Interactive cooking Demo and Dinner is the best bet. If your clients have any preference for Liquor such as wine etc, please inform your host in advance

Hi Tea at Jagmandir

Enjoy Hi Tea at the Jagmandir Island Palace. This 17th century Island Palace is one of the oldest and most grandiose palace that is legendary as place of refuge to Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shah Jahan). Visit Jagriti – an exhibition about the historical and architectural development of Jagmandir Island Palace. The exhibition is located within the Gol Mahal at Jagmandir Island Palace and uses archival photographs and paintings to show the evolution of Jagmandir Island Palace as an incomparable pleasure-palace.

Show More Experiences

Day 12 Narlai – Bera via Ranakpur

  • 85 km

  • 2 hr

Jain Temple, Ranakpur

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Bera and en route stop to visit Ranakpur Temples, built in the 15th century, situated in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Over 1444 marble pillars, each differently carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. It is also said that it is impossible to count the pillars. Not to be missed in this temple is one carving out of a single stone with 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. After the visit we continue our drive to Bera and upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

 

In the evening we go for Leopard Safari, a treat for nature lovers. Nestled in the lap of the Aravallis, Bera is one of the only destinations in Northern India which offers sighting of the elusive leopard. The landscape is primarily hard without any vegetation. This makes the sightings very clear and enjoyable. Mana Hotels has partnered with local hosts who have extensive knowledge of this region to ensure that the guests have a memorable visit to Bera. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 10 Dechu – Jodhpur – Narlai

  • 240 km

  • 5 hr

Photo Credit: Owen Young Mehrangarh Fort at dusk, Jodhpur

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Narlai and en route stop at Jodhpur city. The tour starts with a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort, an impregnable fortress towering above a 10km wall with soaring archways leading into the center. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. The museum displays an unusual collection of miniature paintings, gilded palanquins and solid silver “howdah” presented by a Mughal emperor to the Maharaja.

 

Next stop is Jaswant Thada - a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II.

 

If time permits we also visit Sambhali Trust; this organization provides underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls with educational, vocational and social skills to help them become confident and financially independent. They work specifically with Dalit (untouchable) women and girls, who usually have little or no access to education or basic health services.

 

After the visit we continue our drive to Narlai and upon arrival check-in at the hotel.

Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 8 Jaisalmer

Photo Credit: Abhishek Saha Folk Dance performance in the desert

After breakfast at the hotel, we leave for the city tour of Jaisalmer. Founded by Prince Jaisal in 1156, it was a major staging post on the trade route across the Thar Desert. The first glimpse of the honey colored walls of the fort, rising out of the hot and barren desert is magical. Untouched by time, Jaisalmer, with its golden crenulated walls, narrow streets lined with exquisite havelis, has a medieval ambience. The fort, often referred to as the "Golden Fort' because of the color of the stone, encloses palaces decorated with delicate jali or lattice worked screens, carved doors and flora carvings, and elaborately carved 12th to 16th century Jain temples.

 

The havelis in both the fort and the town are exceptional. Similar in style to the homes of Venetian merchants, the havelis were the mansions of wealthy traders. The houses are decorated with beautifully carved facades, screens and windows. Each haveli has an inner courtyard surrounded by richly decorated apartments. See the Nathmalji-ki-Haveli with its beautiful arched roof with carved brackets in the form of peacocks; Patwon-ki-Haveli, the most elaborate and magnificent haveli and best known for its latticed façade and Salim Singh ki Haveli. Outside the walls of the fortified town is the small oasis of Gadi Sagar, which led Prince Jaisal to found his city. It is well worth visiting to see the large number of shrines around it and the migratory birds, which it attracts.

 

Later in the day we proceed for excursion of “Sam Dunes”, 45 km away known for its enormous sand dunes that make a surrealistic landscape patterned by the wind. This excursion also includes the unique experience of Camel Ride. We return to the hotel late evening for overnight stay.

Day 15 Udaipur – Delhi (By Flight) – Journey Home

After breakfast at the hotel the morning is at leisure. In the afternoon we drive to Udaipur airport to board your late afternoon flight to Delhi.

 

Upon arrival at Delhi airport you are assisted by a Vasco representative and escorted to international terminal to board your onwards flight back home.

Day 6 Jaipur – Bikaner – Gajner

  • 365 km

  • 7 hr

Photo Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Gajner and en route visit Junagarh Fort, built by Raja Rai Singh in the 16th century. The palaces were added to it over the next three centuries. The outer wall, built of light red sandstone is surrounded by a moat, and within are beautifully designed palaces with balconies, kiosks, fine jali or lattice work screens with richly decorated interiors. The Badal Mahal in the fort has walls covered with stories from the life of Krishna, whilst the walls of the oldest palace, the Lal Niwas, are elaborately decorated in red and gold.

 

Afterwards a short drive brnigs us to Gajner. Check-in at hotel upon arrival.

Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 1 Arrival in Delhi

Terminal 3, Delhi International Airport

Upon arrival at Delhi in the evening, you are received and escorted by a Vasco representative to the hotel where you are welcomed in a traditional Indian style. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

 

Known for its survival against all odds, Delhi the capital of India has been the epicenter of Indian politics for centuries. The delightful ambiance of Delhi leaves a hypnotic spell on the visitors with its old world charm and modern lifestyle that coexist in this city of Djinns. Upon arrival you will experience the newly built state of the art Delhi airport and as the journey unfolds, you will be fascinated by the ancient architecture of Mughal Era while traveling through the crowded by lanes of Chandni Chowk where the sights and sounds of the ever growing city and spicy traditional Indian food will caste a magical spell on you. Several luxury hotels adorn the skyline of Delhi and are known for their traditional warmth and hospitality the world over. The mystic charm of Delhi lies in its architectural marvels and rich traditional background.

Day 9 Jaisalmer – Dechu

  • 180 km

  • 3 hr

Evening drinks at Samsara Camp, Dechu

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Dechu and upon arrival check in at the hotel. Camp is a part of the majestic palace converted and transformed to a four star heritage resort. Guests are taken on a magical journey from the resort through the village streets into the dunes. The magical setting is brought to life by man made pond surrounded by colorful tents.

 

In the afternoon we leave for our Jeep Safari which gives you a peep into the daily life of the famous Bishnois, our very own ecologists. As we move on from the bustling activity of the village to the serenity of desert, you might be able to spot a trek of the famous Black Buck Antelope. Overnight stay is at the camp.

Day 11 Narlai

Rawla Narlai

After breakfast at the hotel. the day is at leisure to explore the countryside on your own.

In the evening enjoy a dinner at a private place in the palace.

Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Day 13 Bera – Udaipur

  • 145 km

  • 3 hr

Photo Credit: qiv Udaipur at dusk

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Udaipur and upon arrival check-in at the hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own.

 

Later, you can avail an optional experience of cycling near Fateh Sagar Lake. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

Optional Inspiring Experiences

Sound and Light Show at City Palace

Every evening, the grounds of the magnificent Manek Chowk inside City Palace, come alive in a blaze of lights, as the sound and light show gets underway. The hour-long show seeks to recreate Mewar’s glorious history in a delightful play of light and sound, as a narrative in English evokes significant episodes in the eventful centuries of the region’s history.

Day 7 Gajner – Jaisalmer

  • 300 km

  • 6 hr

Photo Credit: Patrick Barry Royal Cenotaphs of Jaisalmer

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Jaisalmer and upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Around sun set, you visit village of Kuldhara to see the Royal cenotaphs. Overnight stay is at the hotel.

 

Jaisalmer, the "Golden City," is located on the westernmost frontier of India in the state of Rajasthan. Close to the Pakistan border, the city is known for its proximity to the Thar Desert. A camel safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an unforgettable experience. The city is dominated by the Jaisalmer Fort, also known as Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most forts in India, the Jaisalmer Fort is a living fort. There are shops, hotels and age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area where families have lived for generations.

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