Trip Highlights :-Delhi / Agra / Jaipur / Jodhpur / Udaipur / Delhi
Tour duration : 10 Nights / 11 Days
Delhi - On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products.
Agra - Agra is a major tourist attraction as it contains one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal. Agra is an ancient city situated on the river Yamuna within the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city has been described as Agraba in the epic Mahabharata. The city was capital of Lodhi Kingdom and later on served the same for Mughals. During 16th and 17th century the city was developed as art, culture, commerce and learning center by Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Some wonderful buildings were erected in Agra City by the Mughal Emperors. Agra city is famous for monuments and crafts. The monuments and crafts have preserved the cultural heritage for centuries.
Jaipur - Capital of Rajasthan - the 'Pink City'. Jaipur means "the city of victory" & was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in "Shilp Shastra" an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture. This colorful city is enriched with royal tradition & culture, attractive monuments, Forts, Palaces like the Magnificent City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort which are some of the most exquisite blend of Hindu architecture. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. City today has a population of more than 5 million residents. Presently, Jaipur is a major business and tourist centre with all the requisites of a metropolitan city. The city covers an area of 200.4 sq. kms and lies at an altitude of 431 m above sea level.
Jodhpur - Jodhpur, the erstwhile kingdom of Marwar, is its cultural capital. The city of Jodhpur, popularly known as the Gateway of Desert Thar, history of Jodhpur is the history of the Rathore clan which ruled over this land for over six centuries and endowed it with traditions of higher values and rich heritage. The chief of the Rathore clan, Rao Jodha, 13th in the line of succession from Rao Siha, after wandering in different parts of Marwar for 15 years, succeeded in recapturing Mandore in 1453, lost by his father Rao Ridmal, founded Jodhpur - formerly known as Marwar, in 1459. Rao Jodha was crowned in 1453 and six years later laid the foundation of Mehrangarh fort. Sturdy, beautiful and the fame of Rathores, the Mehrangarh fort, remained inaccessible and impossible to capture in the battlefield. The 36th ruler of Marwar, Maharaja Umaid Singh (1918-47) is known as the maker of Modern Jodhpur. He introduced the concept of a Welfare-State. The regular droughts made the people of his State economically challenged and forced them to rush to other States. The foresighted Maharaja Umaid Singh ordered the construction of a new palace on the mountains area of Chhitar in 1929, which provided employment to 3000 people for 14 years. Construction of hospitals, railway stations, library and museum, stadium, cinema hall and dams.
Udaipur - Capital of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar, who fought the fiercest battles against the foreign intruders, Udaipur was built on the shores of Lake Pichola by Udai Singh II in 1559, when his former capital, Chittorgarh was sacked by the Mughal emperor Akbar. The 5 lakes that dot Udaipur have earned for it the sobriquet of 'The City of Lakes'. The history savants throng the city to explore its palaces, havelis and museums while its fabled lakes and beautiful surroundings make it a hot spot for the honeymooners. The picturesque city has lured many Hollywood and Bollywood big shots to shoot here some of the legendry movies here.
Experience one of India's most visually spectacular event "Festival of Lights" . One of the most important, not to mention iconic Indian festivals, any trip to India this November should try to incorporate the Diwali celebrations. Begin your tour in Delhi exploring the Old and New town, before continuing on to Agra to see another of India's iconic sights – the Taj Mahal. Then on to Jaipur where you can explore "The Pink City" and enjoy a private elephant ride. Experience more of the vivid colours of Rajasthan as you continue on to Jodhpur "The Blue City", before being dazzled by the seemingly endless firework displays in Udaipur as part of the Diwali celebrations. We will ensure that you have front row seats to witness this entire city lit up - in our opinion there is no better place to do so than The Lake Palace. Join in the wide spread celebrations of wealth, auspicious beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, continuing late into the night. Discover the rest of what Udaipur has to offer. Diwali celebrations will take place on the 3rd November.
Arrival in India (Delhi), traditional welcome by our representative at airport, transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel, before you proceed to your room/s, our representative will hand-over the travel documents and brief you about the tour programme. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: An ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama Masjid, Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars.
Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, places of worship: Temples, Mosques, Church and Gurudwara, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride.
Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation.
Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone 'Arch of Triumph', erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House.
Visit the Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 mt. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel in the morning, later drive to Agra, upon arrival check in at hotel.
Relax in your rooms for some time.
In the evening visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. Tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg - A Wazir (Chief Minister) in the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. Ghiyas Beg was honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the Pillar of the State. Emperor Jehangir married her beautiful widowed daughter Mehr-un-Nissa, she was later christened Noor Jahan and went down in the history as one of the most beautiful and artistically gifted women in the world. After the death of Mirza Ghiyas Beg in 1622, Noor Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum, which took six years to get complete. It is entirely made of white marble. This tomb represents the transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture - primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations with mosaic and lattice.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning at the time of Sunrise, Taj Mahal - One of the Seven Wonders of the World, a pristine monument of undying love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine the body of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) after she died in 1631 at Burhanpur. The Taj has continued to be a mark of love since ever. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. The construction started in 1632 and was completed in 1653. The workforce of some 20,000 and 1,000 elephants, included Masons, Stonecutters, Inlayers, Carvers, Calligraphers, Dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the empire and also from Italy, Central Asia and Persia. In accordance with Islamic tradition, verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy on the arched entrances to the mausoleum, in addition to numerous other sections of the complex. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Witness the white marble reflect the nuances of the changing light from the Sun. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period.
Return to hotel for breakfast. During the day time, visit Agra Fort which retains the irregular outline of the demolished mud-wall fort of the Lodhis. It is a World Heritage Site, located near to the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the reign of Emperor Akbar and continued the developments up to the period of Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort, in a length of 2.5 km marvelous enclosure walls, was built in red sandstones and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Jehangiri Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, the Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam - which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne, Diwan-i-Khas - a hall of private audience, it was used to welcome Kings and dignitaries and Mussaman Burj - a large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal are enclosed in the Fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque. Views of the Taj Mahal from the Fort are amazing.
Remaining day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. This morning drive to Jaipur en-route visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri is an ancient city in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This city was built by Akbar, the Mughal emperor in the year 1571. It was constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son. His son was named after the Saint as Salim and he succeeded the Emperor Akbar and was known as Emperor Jehangir. Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of Mughal empire for a short period as the city was abandoned in the year 1585 due to insufficient supply of water. Although this city was deserted, but the city has still preserved the old structures with the help of the archaeological unit. Fatehpur Sikri is a blend of both Muslim and Hindu architecture. Some of the prime attractions here are the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Palace of Jodha Bai, Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti, Birbal Bhawan, Karawan Serai, Hiran Minar etc.
Afterwards continue your drive to Jaipur, arrive and check-in at hotel, relax for sometime in your room/s.
During the day time visit the Albert Hall Museum - supposed to be the oldest museum in Rajasthan. It was designed by Colonel Swinton Jacob in 1876 to welcome King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to Jaipur. It was brought to life by Thomas Holbein Hendley. The collection that he put together is a valuable inheritance today: Arms and Armour, Sculptures, International Art, Pottery, Stone work, Wood work, Ivory, Jewellery, Clay models, Musical Instruments, Coins and Seals, Carpets, colourful Crystal work and Miniature Paintings. It is also home to the rare Persian Garden Carpet and also an Egyptian Mummy. Initially Maharaja Ram Singh II wanted this building to be a town hall, but his successor, Sawai Madho Singh II, decided it should be a museum for the art of Jaipur and included as part of the new Ram Nivas Garden.
In the evening visit the Birla Temple, to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. Built recently in 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Witness the Aarti Ceremony (Prayer ceremony) which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
After your breakfast at hotel, embark for an excursion to Amber Fort in the morning, en-route take a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, a four storied façade of pink sandstone and one of the most picturesque landmarks with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could see the royal processions through its 593 stone screens without being seen by the outsiders.
Drive to Amber Fort, situated outside the city, it is perhaps the most beautiful example of Rajput forts, this complex stands amidst wooded hills, with its threatening battlements reflected in the motionless waters of the Maota Lake below. You can have the unique experience of riding on a decorated elephant to the top of the hill. One of the premium examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh. Here are the personal chambers of the Queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could look at the events of the Royal court in privacy. There is also the Jai Mandir or the "Temple of Victory", with its well-known Sheesh Mahal, the sparkling "Hall of Mirrors". 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 Niwas where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning.
Return to city and visit City Palace complex, located in the heart of Jaipur known for its blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the museum houses the rare and rich collection of Ornaments, 15th century Arms & Weapons, Royal Costumes, Carpets, Sanganeri block prints, Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls, folk embroideries and Decorative Art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture. Complex has several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Ji Temple and the City Palace Museum and is divided into two parts- One part Sawai Man Singh Museum and other is still the residential Palace of the former Maharaja.
Next we visit the Jantar Mantar, a solar observatory - It is the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh-I, the founder ruler of Jaipur. It is an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date, it is classified as a world heritage site.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Early breakfast and check out from hotel. In the morning drive to Jodhpur. Arrive Jodhpur late in the afternoon and check in to your hotel.
In the evening visit the local Bazaar which is a prime attraction of this city, Clock tower and the colorful Sadar Market near to it. Narrow alleys lead to quaint bazaars selling vivid tie and dye fabric, textiles, antiques, glass bangles, silverware and handicrafts. These colorful markets with tiny shops are situated in the heart of city.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel and check-out. Proceed for the city tour of Jodhpur, Visit the aptly named majestic Meherangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline. Entered through gates, which bear the evocative handprints of the "Sati" queens women of the royal harem, who took their own lives when their men were defeated in battle. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces and museum, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. Of particular note is the museum that exhibits a magnificent collection of royal memorabilia; we stop to admire the graceful cenotaph at Jaswant Thada,
After the tour drive to Udaipur, en-route stop at Ranakpur for a temple tour. Acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style, one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. These temples lies at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. Built in the 15th century by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar in the 15th century. This complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. This temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple.
In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. Amongst all of them, Chaumukha Temple is the most important and as the term Chaumukha suggests, this temple is four-faced. Chaumukha temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, who is the first 'Tirthankara' of the Jains. The Temple structure is highly compound having four different doorways to get into the chambers. These chambers ultimately take you to the main hall where the image of Adinath is positioned.
The four faced image also symbolizes the Tirthankara's quest for the four directions and ultimately the cosmos. The image is surrounded by many small shrines and domes. One more range of cells with separate roofs encircles these shrines and domes all over again. The five spires elevate above the walls and around 20 cupolas rise from roof of the pillared hall. Each spire houses a shrine and the largest shrine is the important one that addresses the central altar. The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and boasts of not less than four additional shrines. It has 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. The upper and lower parts of the domes are linked by brackets that have deities' sculptures. Above all, you would be amazed to see at a height of 45 ft engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. Each column is intricately carved and it is surprising to know that no two columns have the similar design. In the Mandap (prayer hall), the two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound on the movement. Chaumukha temple is formed like a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) and provides this whole structure a celestial appearance. Conceivably, it is due to the intricacy of the structure that the temple took approximately 65 years to complete.
The Temple of Parsavanath is renowned for its engraved windows embellished with Jain figures. Also known as Patriyon Ka Mandir, in close proximity to this temple, you can trace two other temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God) respectively. Here, Surya Narayan Temple has innumerable wall projections with circular structure. The sight of Lord Surya driven in his chariot of seven horses is truly pleasing.
Continue your drive to Udaipur, Arrive in the evening and check in to your hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning set out to explore the romantic city of Lakes - Udaipur, with the palaces built around Lake Pichola and the Aravalli Hills forming the backdrop.
The highlight will be the City Palace, the former home of the Maharanas of Udaipur, the musuem is entered through the Ganesh Deori meaning the door of Lord Ganesh, this leads to the Rajya Angan, the royal courtyard. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings. The Ruby Palace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas display a rich collection of miniature paintings. Pearl palace has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. The Surya Chopar depicts a huge ornamental Sun symbolising the Sun dynasty to which the Mewar dynasty belongs. The Bai Mahal is a central garden with view of the city. This Palace being a majestic architectural marvel, within the four walls are mosaics of Peacocks, exquisite mirror work and exotic paintings. It is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens.
Also visit Crystal Gallery, which has been hailed as probably the single largest private collection of crystal anywhere in the world. The collection includes a bewildering number of objects d'art, dinner sets, perfume bottles, decanters, glasses, washing bowls and even furniture. The Crystal Gallery also houses the only crystal bed in the world.
From here you will drive to the Palace Garage to see private collection of Vintage & Classic cars of House of Mewar. The grand limousines and cars showcased here are Rolls-Royce, 1939 Cadillac open convertibles, rare Mercedes models, 1936 Vauxhall and 1937 Opel models.
Visit Sahelion ki Bari, a spot once reserved for the royal ladies who strolled here, this well-planned garden is blessed with extensive and shady lawns on the banks of the Fateh Sagar Lake. The garden's lotus pools and fountains show ancient science since they've been placed at a lower level than the Lake, thus being gravity-driven. The main fountain lies in the center on a white marble deck with black marble marking its four corners. On the western face are pavilions, delicately sculptured of black stone that are embraced by more fountains on all sides. Late afternoon Boat ride on Lake Pichola, a picturesque lake that entranced Maharana Udai Singh. It was later enlarged by the founder. The lake is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Two island palaces, Jag Mandir and Jagat Niwas (Lake Palace - A Luxury Hotel) on the lake are of breathtaking magnificence.
In the evening visit the Jagdish Temple, an Indo-Aryan temple, this temple with Lord Vishnu as the main deity was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. The temple is constructed by perfectly following the Shipa Shastra, an art and science of construction theories for temples and other buildings. Excellent Carvings showing musicians playing musical instruments, dancing and singing of beautiful lady folks adorn the large hall in the temple.
Overnight stay at hotel.s
Breakfast at hotel. Day at leisure to visit the city's Bazaars, enjoy the Diwali festivities. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, later check-out. In-time transfer to airport to take flight for Delhi. Transfer assistance at airport, drive to a local restaurant for Farewell Dinner, and afterwards transfer to international airport to board return journey flight.
Departure early in the morning by an international flight.