Land of Maharajas

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Delhi
Duration:
16 Days
End:
Delhi
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 4148
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The Land of Maharajas leads you through some of this colourful state’s most famous sites and cities as well as unlocking a few hidden gems which lie slightly off the well-worn route. The Thar Desert and Aravalli Hills combine to create a stunning visual backdrop to this journey.

Itinerary

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DAY 1

On arrival at the airport, meet your Tour Executive who will assist you to transfer to the hotel for two nights stay in Delhi.

DAY 2

Experience one of the oldest living cities in the world with Delhi's 20,000 ruins. Delhi has its history, and the monuments are tablets on which that history is written. Every conqueror did his best to possess Delhi and make it his capital. It is not a single city but a combination of eight cities that have been established here from as early as 900 B.C. to 1930 A.D. when the British completed the construction of New Delhi as the capital of imperial India. It is therefore not surprising that the monuments of Delhi successfully mirror the development of the architectural styles in the country. Visits include the Qutub Minar; this victory tower is an excellent example of Afghan Architecture and is 73m high, Jama Masjid, which is the largest mosque in India built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1656. Approximately 25,000 people can pray here at any given time and then travel through India Gate, Red Fort, the Parliament and Presidents House. This metropolitan city is dotted with remnants of its rich and varied past. Stay overnight in Delhi.

DAY 3

This morning, after breakfast you travel to Mandawa, a small but delightful town in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Founded in the mid 18th century, the town offers a sense of new discovery and is known for its forts, castles, stunning haveli’s, beautiful paintings, rich culture and tradition. After some relaxation we then proceed for sightseeing of this splendid town with beautiful paintings, murals and frescoes which are seen in the stunning haveli’s, temples, cenotaphs, wells, castles, forts and palaces. The earlier wall paintings were largely based on mythological themes, depicting local legends, animals, portraits, hunting and wrestling scenes and a glimpse of everyday life. Then visit the majestic Mandawa Fort; its archway has beautiful painting which shows Lord Krishna among his cowherds and the rooms are architecturally adorned with mirror work. In the zenana or women’s quarters, one room offers antique murals, another has a marble fountain and the turret room boasts of walls that are seven feet in diameter. The city is quite rightly named as “The Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan”. Stay overnight in Mandawa.

DAY 4

Today after breakfast you travel to Bikaner, which lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan and is the centre of art and culture of medieval India. This desert city has a stark beauty which is totally unique, with wide-spread dunes, the moonlit glittering beauty and desert agility, marvellous palaces and temples, archaeological treasures, all combining to making it a city of lasting charm. Check in at the hotel and later proceed for the city tour. Visit Junagarh Fort; built in 1587-93 by Raj Singh, it is made of red and pink sandstone, has 37 domes inside and is surrounded by high walls with a 30 feet trench around the fort and Lalgarh Palace; built in the memory of king Lal Singh, it is built of sandstone and is a fine blend of Western opulence and Eastern artistry, comprising of Belgium Chandeliers, exquisite engravings, fine collection of paintings, a magnificent flower garden, making it spectacular. The city offers over 500 years old culture and heritage, the very feel of Rajasthan. Stay overnight in Bikaner.

DAY 5

After breakfast travel to the Golden City of Jaisalmer, built in 1156 AD and named after its founder, Bhatti Rajput Rao Jaisal. Located deep in the heart of the Desert, the city is popular for its century’s forts, palaces, havelis and amber-hued houses. Perched atop the Trikuta Hill, it stands tall against miles of gleaming sand, epitomising the desolate, awesome charm of the desert. The havelis, built by merchants of the 19th century are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone and are still in beautiful conditions. Enjoy the afternoon free, take a stroll in the narrow streets of the Golden city and get a glimpse of the life style of the locals. Every house is exquisitely carved having filigreed work all over. As you move up its ancient cobbled streets, it brings alive an experience of a medieval township caught in a time wrap. These houses date back to 12th-15th century. Stay for two nights in Jaisalmer.

DAY 6

After breakfast followed by a morning sightseeing tour, enjoy a camel safari on its exotic sand dunes, offering an unforgettable experience of rich cultural heritage. This amber-hued city, in the heart of the desert, dazzles gloriously in the early morning. The sunset has a peculiar glow and as night descends, the sky goes up in flames, which fade leaving a few embers, till it becomes black, a breathtaking sight indeed! Filled with colour, festivity and smiles, Jaisalmer is truly a memorable experience across shimmering sands. Stay overnight in Jaisalmer.

DAY 7

After breakfast you will experience the feeling of travelling back in time with a journey to Jodhpur, while you catch a glimpse of the splendour and magnificence of this ancient desert city built on the edge of the Thar Desert. At its best, it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. Rest of the day is free to explore the rustic rural life of the locals. The folks here wear nice and lovely multihued costumes. One of the unique features of the culture is the colourful turbans worn by men. There is a warm and friendly feeling meted out by the local people. The bazaars have a range of items from tie and dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquer ware, antiques, carpets and puppets to the exquisite Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery. History oozes from the city’s magnificent forts, palaces, temples and traditional homes washed in pale indigo and the city still retains the medieval charm. Stay for two nights in Jodhpur.

DAY 8

After breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour and visit Mehrangarh Fort; one of the largest forts in India, the beauty and grandeur of numerous palaces inside narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures and to enter, seven gates have to be crossed. It was built by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur city in 1459. The palaces in this fort have their own peculiar style, with narrow staircases, serving as the only means of access to the royal residence within. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, furniture and cannons on the forts ramparts are well preserved. Also visit Old city; surrounded by a 10km long wall, has 8 gates serving as entrances, the winding streets offer colourful street markets with blue houses alternated with white houses and Clock tower; a prominent landmark. The new city is settled around this walled area. Stay overnight in Jodhpur.

DAY 9

Drive to Udaipur, en-route pass lush green valleys, streams and heart capturing views before visiting Ranakpur. Renowned for its Jain temples with intricately carved marble Pillars and Domes, Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravalli ranges, it boasts of one of the largest and most important Jain Temples in the country. It has a four-temple complex which is famous for its peaceful and harmonious surroundings. The temples are believed to have been built in 1439 A.D. The temple rests on 1444 elegantly carved pillars, with no two being identical and the realistic sculptures of celestial nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are a fascinating sight to see. The two huge bells weighing 108 kgs each, whose sound echoes in the entire complex, add to the temple’s allure. On arrival at Udaipur check in, while rest of the evening to enjoy at leisure. Stay for two nights in Udaipur. 

DAY 10

Founded by Maharaja Udai Singh in 1568, Udaipur is situated on the banks of Lake Pichola with lush green hills of the Aravalli surroundings, making it the most romantic city of Rajasthan. A vision in white drenched in beauty, the city is a fascinating blend of sights and sounds. The rich cultural, social and natural heritage, aesthetic beauty and ecological richness, preserved through the lakes, serene and opulent hilly ranges, lush green vegetation, pleasant gardens and harmonious built forms present a unique condition of scenic beauty. Proceed for guided sightseeing tour and visit City Palace, Jagdish Temple, Museum, Jag Mandir and Saheliyon-Ki-Bari. Enjoy rest of the day on the banks of the Lake Pichola, which shines like a jewel in the crown of the city adding more grace and grandeur to it or optionally take sunset cruise or visit the numerous shops that dot the narrow windings streets of Udaipur. Enjoy your overnight stay in Udaipur.

DAY 11

Travel to Pushkar, a city famous for its annual camel fair during (Kartik Poornima) full moon night in the month of November. The spectacular Fair Ground is bedecked with Camels, decorated cattle's, adventures competitions, breathtaking events, jostling rustic crowd, meditating sadhus, holy dip, vivid stalls, and exotic fair. Evening free for your own activities or take a glimpse of rural Rajasthan. The village is arranged in blocks of tents, each with its own identity, named after the famous dance of Rajasthan. A bustling bazaar, the local market offers a range of souvenirs including Rajasthani costumes, ethnic jewellery, embroidered fabrics and decorative pieces, alluring miniature paintings, leather goods, mesmerising puppets and pottery. Enjoy your overnight stay in Pushkar.

DAY 12

After breakfast continue your travel to Jaipur, the first planned city of India, is a treasure-trove of culture, art and history, famous for its colour, life style and Rajasthani cuisine. It is a city exuding royal heritage and extravagant richness. The historic city also has many temples and shrines. Upon arrival check in into your designated hotel, with remaining day at your disposal to explore the Jaipur Bazaar at your own pace or relax in the hotel. Enjoy hunting through the colourful and chaotic streets , shopping for souvenirs like silver jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones such as diamonds, topaz and emeralds, embroidered clothing and quilts, block printed textiles, lacquered brass work, leather footwear, miniature marble carvings and blue potteries. Besides shopping one can also watch the skilful artisans at work. While walking down the lanes you will also witness the cultural heritage of the city unfolding a legacy of the royal past. Stay for two nights in Jaipur.

DAY 13

Enjoy guided city tour and visit Amber Fort, the ancient capital of Rajasthan and the majestic palace complex to witness a unique system of air-conditioning of 17th century. A beautiful complex of Palaces, halls, pavilions, garden and temples built by Raja Mansingh, Mirza Raja Jaisingh and Sawai Jaisingh over a period of about two centuries, it still stands in magnificent state. The red sandstone and white Marble palace has some very interesting apartments- Diwan-I-Am, Ganesh Pol, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Jai Mandir, Man Singh Palace and Shila Devi Temple. Also visit City Palace Museum; boasts to have some of the priceless handwritten Hindu scriptures of the ancient past, miniature delicate paintings, preserved painted ceilings and the elephant saddles (haudas), and is registered in the Guinness Book of Records to contain the biggest silver objects in the world, Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace); built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh at a time when women of the royal family had to observe strict purdah, it is believed that this palace was built for them to take pleasure in the processions and various activities taking place in the streets below without showing themselves and thus enjoying a sense of freedom, Jantar Mantar; one of the famed observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh is a complex of astronomical instruments, chiselled out of stone which provides fairly accurate information to this day. The historic pink-painted sandstone architecture, earned the city the affectionate nickname of the 'Pink City'. The buildings within the Old City district of Jaipur were first painted pink in 1876 to welcome the then Prince of Wales, and this tradition has remained ever since. Enjoy your overnight stay in Jaipur.

DAY 14

After breakfast check out and travel to Agra. En-route we stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar and now known as the ghost town. Fatehpur Sikri is known as the deserted city of the Mughals which was built at the orders of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. While Akbar himself was illiterate, he took keen interest in literature, architecture and arts. The buildings at Fatehpur Sikri blend together Hindu and Islamic elements as seen in their architecture. One has to pay special interest as the guide unfolds the mystery of this great city and why was it abandoned by the Mughals. The afternoon is free for you to explore this world renowned city of the Taj. Stay for two nights in Agra. 

DAY 15

Pay a sunrise visit to the incomparable monument of Love, the Taj Mahal, hued in the eternal beauty that is immortal. It took 22 years, 32 million rupees and hard toil of more than 20,000 workers to construct the Taj Mahal. In all 28 kinds of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for the inlay work. It as the manifestation of Empire Shah Jahan’s unfathomable and unshakable desire for the woman he loved – who proved her loyalty and everlasting friendship to him till her last breath, a woman of great physical and inner beauty, substance and strength. Taj Mahal is the epitome of love, poem in white marble, one of the Seven Wonders of the World besides being the pride of India. Once the capital of the Mughal Empire, Agra, has several monuments which display the splendour of Mughal architecture and it is very easy to slip away through the centuries into the grandeur and intrigues of the Mughal court. Return to the hotel for breakfast followed by visit to Agra Fort; this great monument of red sandstone was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century and Itimad-Ud-Daulah also known as mini Taj Mahal; It is a tomb built with white marble in typical Islamic style architecture, by the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan in memory of her father Itimad-Ud-Daulah. Rest of the evening is free for your own activities with overnight stay in Agra.

DAY 16

Enjoy your leisurely breakfast before travelling back to Delhi airport to board your onward flight.

Inclusion


Accommodation in hotel with private facilities

Travel by private A/C car with a driver

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)

Local English speaking guide

Entrance fee/monument charges

Shared Jeep ride in Jaipur

Rickshaw ride in Delhi

Sunset cruise in Udaipur

Camel ride in Jaisalmer

Assistance and transfers 

All current taxes

Exclusion


Any international or domestic airfares

Train fares other than specified in the what's included section 

Airport taxes, visa & passport fees

Extra baggage charges

Early check in or late check out

Meals other than specified in the what's included section

Tips & gratuities

Travel & medical insurance

Camera & video permits

Expenses incurred due to flight / train cancellation or delay

Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc

Any optional excursion or tour

Entry charges at monuments/forts etc

Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section