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Holiday in India - Ranthambore tiger

Remote Sites and Desert Nights

Route: Delhi - Ranthambore National Park - Jaipur - Pushkar - Udaipur - Jodhpur -Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Mandawa - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi

This suggested itinerary through India offers a great mix of adventure, sightseeing and relaxation in Northern India. You'll visit the most famous as well as the most unusual spots in Rajasthan and its surrounding area, combining the highlights of the region with something a little different.  

You'll begin your trip in an authentic hotel in Jaipur, followed by a safari-style hotel in Ranthambore National Park, where you'll watch out for the wildlife on a series of game drives. Then you'll head West across Rajasthan where you will see and experience traditional Rajasthani life. Next, your India itinerary will take you to the mystical temples of Galta, the beautiful wetlands of Bharatpur, and the eerie ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, before ending up in Agra for a visit to the unforgettable Taj Mahal.

To find out more, simply give one of our friendly India Travel Specialists a call on 01273 322 044. If you've got slighter more time to explore India, try one of our other suggested itineraries to India. Alternatively, if you would prefer to build your own India trip, take a look at our bite-sized India trips.
Duration 19 days / 18 nights
Departs every day from Delhi.
Note: Ranthambore National Park is closed from 1 July to 1 October.


Comfortable hotels with character, a traditional clay hut, and a hotel on the Ganges. Comfort level 3/4 (see accommodation).


£998 per person - based on 2 people sharing a private trip


Accommodation with breakfast, transport, and tours as described. 


Private car


International flight, local entrance fees, other meals.

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

When you arrive in Delhi at the beginning of your itinerary through India, you’ll be collected by your private driver and taken to your hotel. We use a pool of comfortable hotels that are central, with modern facilities. They are an ideal base to explore both the spice markets of Chandi Chowk and modern Connaught Place. Here, you can catch your breath and rest after your flight, or perhaps stretch yoru legs and explore the vicinity of your hotel on foot. 

In your Delhi hotel you'll have a comfortable room with a private en-suite bathroom. Breakfast is included.
Holiday in India- Delhi Cow
Holiday in India- Ranthambore Fort

Day 2: Delhi - Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore)

Today, you’ll travel by train to Sawai Madhopur, near to Ranthambore, the next stop on your India itinerary. Here, you'll stay in a lovely safari tent with attached bathroom (non a/c). Towards the end of the day, your local guide will take you to Ranthambore Fort, a massive structure full of chattering monkeys and bright green parrots. Here, you can listen for the alarm calls of the gazelles and sambar deer below. If you hear them, there’s a chance that a tiger is on the prowl somewhere nearby. The success of the tiger project here is due to the commitment of the local people, who are determined to keep their tiger population alive and growling. The jeep will stop to let the locals offer some souvenirs and you can support the tiger project by buying a memento (if you choose). 

Note: If you're travelling in May or June, when temperatures in this area reach their highest point, you'll stay in a safari hotel with air-conditioning rather than a tent.

Day 3: Ranthambore National Park - Canter Safari

Today, you’ll set off in a truck-based 20-seater Canter (just ask our India specialists if you would prefer a jeep upgrade) on your first safari at sunrise - perhaps one of the highlights of your itinerary in India. This is the time of day when tigers stalk around the lakes for a morning drink so, with a little luck, you’ll spot one during the safari. Even without tigers, the safari is an enchanting experience at dawn. There are atmospheric views of the lakes, lined with all kinds of animals lapping up the glassy water. From time to time, you’ll get a glimpse of the hideouts of the maharajas through the undergrowth.

At the end of the morning, you’ll return to your hotel for lunch. Afterwards, you’ll have time for an afternoon snooze before your evening safari. You’ll have around a 50/50 chance per safari of spotting a wild tiger (although this varies according to the season). Though you'll certainly encounter gazelles, crocodiles, sambar deer, monkeys and all sorts of other creatures during this safari on your India itinerary.
Holiday in India-Ranthambore Safari
Holiday in India- Amber Fort

Day 4: Ranthambore - Jaipur

On day four of this itinerary in India, you'll be transferred to Jaipur by air-conditioned car, a trip which takes around 5 hours. The Pink City is a fantastic place to kick off a trip in India and during your two nights here you can relax, acclimatise, and explore. There is so much to see in this elegant and astonishing city that you could spend weeks here without getting bored. Jaipur centre is a lively mass of saris, saddhus, holy cows, spice markets, street vendors, camel carts, elephants, beggars, rickshaws, temples, forts and palaces.

In Jaipur, you’ll stay in one of our cosy family-run hotels for a firsthand experience of typical Indian hospitality. Breakfast is served in the open air courtyard and the family will go out of their way to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The rooms here are tastefully furnished in traditional Indian-style and there is also a swimming pool for refreshing dips.

Day 5: Jaipur - City tour

Next on your itinerary in India, you’ll take a guided tour of this remarkable city, visiting the City Palace, the Observatory and the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal). In the afternoon, you’ll visit the imposing Amber Fort just outside the city limits. From the battlements, you’ll have a wonderful view of the rocky hills and the smaller forts constructed by the Rajputs and the Mughals.

The City Palace and the Palace of the Winds both stand in the ancient quarter of the city. If you see the flag flying, it means that the Maharaja is in residence. The Palace of the Winds is a world-famous, pyramid-shaped building with dozens of windows. This is where the women of the royal harem could watch the processions in the street below, unseen by the masses.
Holiday in India - Amber Palace
Holiday in India- Pushkar Lake

Day 6: Jaipur - Pushkar

Today, you’ll leave Jaipur and head for Pushkar, a holy town built around a beautiful holy lake, this drive will take about 3 hours. You’ll spend the night in a palace style hotel where almost all of the rooms have great views over the glassy lake. On the ghats around the lake, you’ll see pilgrims bathing and making blessings, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear them singing.

Pushkar is picturesque, with pastel-coloured buildings lining narrow streets. There are plenty of rooftop cafes looking out over the city towards the lake - perfect places to linger over drink or lunch, but not a beer as this is a dry city. Wander through the twisting alleys of the old centre on your Rajasthan tour, and take a look at the Ghats (stone staircases that lead into the water) where the pilgrims perform ritual bathing. During the famous Camel Fair, usually held in October/November, over 25,000 camels will plod into the town and huge crowds of pilgrims in a rainbow of colours will arrive. During Camel Fair you'll stay just on the edge of town.

Day 7: Pushkar - Udaipur

On the seventh day of your India itinerary, you’ll travel to Udaipur, one of the most romantic towns in India. Elegant Udaipur is surrounded by green hills, a brilliant contrast to the sparkling white palaces and the blue waters of Lake Pichola. The legendary Lake Palace floats on an island in the centre of the lake, giving the town a fairy-tale feel. This palace was the winter residence of the Maharaja and featured in the James Bond film Octopussy.
You'll spend two nights in Udaipur during this itinerary, staying in a traditional haveli with a charming roof terrace which looks out across Lake Pichola and the old city.
Holiday in India- Beautiful Udaipur
Holiday in India- Udaipur Boat Trip

Day 8: Udaipur City Tour

On the eighth day of this itinerary, you'll explore the magical City of Udaipur. This morning, you’ll take a guided city tour, visiting the City Palace with its impressive murals and mosaics and its collection of Delft Blue ware.

Next, your Rajasthan tour will take you to see the Jagdish Temple, where you can admire the famous Lake Palace from a distance. Once the city tour has finished, you’ll be free to explore Udaipur on your own. Wander through the old town, packed with tiny shops of fabrics and handicrafts, and try your hand at haggling in the market. Take a peek into one of the many mysterious little temples and havelis. This evening in Udaipur, you can try some delicious local food in a rooftop restaurant whilst gazing upon the lake and soaking up the magical atmosphere.

Day 9: Udaipur - Jodhpur

On the ninth day of your India trip you’ll set off to the next stop of your Rajasthan tour, Jodhpur. Jodhpur, also known as 'The Blue City', is a journey of about 6 hours and on the way, your driver can stop off so that you can visit the striking Jain temple of Ranakpur, situated in a beautiful green valley.

In the afternoon, you’ll continue your Rajasthan tour as you travel on to Jodhpur, home of Mehrangarh Fort, one of the most dramatic Mughal forts in India perched high above the 'blue city'. Here, you can wander through the narrow alleyways of the city, where rope-makers colour their warps, spice-sellers display their aromatic wares, and tiny barbers shops and stall line the roadside. The shopping hotspots are the Sojati Gate, the Tripolia Bazaar, the Mochi-ki-Gali and the Lakhara Bazaar. If you’re looking to find hand-woven material during your India trip, head for Rajasthan Khadi Sangh. The central bell tower is a good orientation point, as you’ll always manage to find your way back. You’ll stay in the old part of Jodhpur at the foot of the mighty fort during this part of your Rajasthan tour.
Holiday in India- Blue Jodhpur
Holiday in India- Jaisalmer Fort

Day 10: Jodhpur - Jaisalmer 

After breakfast on day ten of your India trip, you’ll climb up above the city to Meherangarh Fort and enjoy the views over the town. The houses here are all painted Brahmin blue, giving Jodhpur its nickname of The Blue City. Initially, the colour was used to signify the homes of the Brahmin caste, but now it is a trademark of the town. When the golden sunlight falls obliquely over the houses, they’ll take on an enchanting indigo glow. 
After visiting Meherangarh Fort on your Rajasthan tour, you’ll cross the desert to reach the remote desert town of Jaisalmer. The journey will take around 5 hours. As you approach the town, its contours will begin to appear on the desert horizon like an amazing mirage - a real highlight of your itinerary in India. The sense of magic will continue to grow as you are dropped at the gates of the old fortress town, with its dozens of castellated towers. You'll sleep in style, staying in an authentic haveli.

Day 11: Jaisalmer - guided tour

In the morning, you’ll take a guided walk into the old town of Jaisalmer, which lies entirely within the walls of the fort. The narrow streets are quite remarkable, with half-hidden havelis, three beautifully carved Jain temples, and five interconnected palaces.

The remainder of the day is free to spend as you wish. We would recommend going to Jaisalmer Fort where you can admire the beautiful Jain temples and also buy some souvenirs.

Optional excursion:
During your India trip, you can take spectacular camel safaris to the dunes, guided by a local camel driver. This is an overnight desert adventure and you'll sleep in a tent under desert skies - certainly an experience you won’t forget in a hurry on your India trip. Please let your travel specialist know if you would like them to add this onto your trip.
Holiday in India- Camel Safari
Holiday in India- Bikaner Haveli

Day 12: Jaisalmer - Bikaner

On day twelve of your tour in Rajasthan, you’ll set off on the drive to Bikaner, which will take around seven hours. On the way, you’ll stop at the strangely beautiful Karni Mata Temple, otherwise known as the Holy Rat Temple, in the village of Deshnok. 
You’ll check into your small family hotel in Bikaner in the afternoon. Bikaner, the ‘Red City’, is another city in the swirling desert, with a charming old centre that contains 37 palaces as well as many Jain temples and pavilions. It is also home to a spectacularly beautiful red sandstone fort. There’s plenty to do in Bikaner during your tour in Rajasthan, and in January you can even see the Camel Festival - an utterly unique experience. In the afternoon, you’ll take a city tour of Bikaner that will whisk you around the highlights of the city, including the Junagarh Fort and the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum.

Day 13: Bikaner - Mandawa

Next on your tour in Rajasthan, your car will take you to Shekawati, a Rajput region renowned for its colourful havelis. These magnificently decorated havelis are the pride and joy of the Marwari merchants. You’ll have the chance to explore Mandawa, where you will spend the night in a small resort consisting of traditional clay huts clustered around a shaded courtyard. Your host for the evening has gone to great efforts to maintain the cultural heritage of the village.

The charming clay huts where you’ll sleep are all furnished with exquisitely crafted furniture made by his own hands. This tour in Rajasthan will give you a glimpse of traditional India, where life continues at its own age-old pace, as your guide takes you on an excursion by camel to see the tiny villages in the surrounding area. The locals will be happily surprised to see you, as not many tourists make it this far into the desert region.
Holiday in India- Mandawa Clay Huts

Day 14: Mandawa - Guided Walk & Camel Ride

Today we have planned in two activities for you and they will really help you enjoy Mandawa. The village is an idyllic spot where you can enjoy some peace and quiet far from the hustle and bustle of the big Rajasthani cities. In the morning you'll take a walking tour of the city soaking up its main sites. Later in the afternoon, you'll take a camel ride out to visit the nearby desert villages, where life continues at a timeless pace. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish, you can explore the havelis, highly decorated with exotic paintings and frescoes which Mandawa is famous for. 

Day 15: Mandawa - Jaipur

On day fifteen of your India itinerary, you’ll depart from Mandawa and head back to the Pink City of Jaipur by air-conditioned car. You’ll arrive in the early evening and spend another night in the welcoming family-run hotel.
Jaipur is famous for textiles and jewellery and you can find these in abundance in the bazaar, which is one of the biggest in the region. Equally, the pink-meringue-like cinema in Jaipur is the perfect place to catch a Bollywood film during your India itinerary. Around a 1-hour drive from Jaipur, you'll find the amusement village of Chokhi Dhani, which celebrates Rajasthani traditions with palm-readers, snake-charmers, camel drivers, elephant rides, snacks, sweets, music and dancing. This is a fun-filled way to spend a spare evening on your India trip.
Holiday in India- Mandawa Haveli
Holiday in India - Women's pool at Galta

Day 16: Jaipur - Galta - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra

This morning, you'll leave Jaipur and head east towards Galta, an optional stop on the way to Agra. The Monkey Temple here is a pilgrimage site that attracts flocks of devotees. The stream here is reputed to come from the holy River Ganges, although this is geographically impossible. People bathe and sing on the steps (ghats) that lead down into the pools. Their voices echo through the rocky gorge, which opens into a wider valley dotted with temples that have been overrun with monkeys.

After Galta, you’ll continue onto Bharatpur which is a three hour drive. This is a fascinating waterworld, criss-crossed by paths and waterways, and a lovely place to take a break on your India itinerary.There are hundreds of rare birds in the Bharatpur wetlands, such as the rare Siberian crane. It is rumoured that there are still a few tigers here, originally from Ranthambore National Park, which pounce on the waterfowl as they doze. It’s unlikely that you’ll see this in action, but keep your eyes peeled all the same.
A few miles along, you’ll come to Fatehpur Sikri. The great ruler Akbar set up his capital here, and built a grand city, but after only 40 years the water supply became too difficult to maintain in this dry area, so all of the inhabitants packed up and moved on. They left behind a phenomenal collection of grand temples and palaces, with the ruins of old houses standing between them. Now it is an atmospheric ghost city, full of green parrots and monkeys.This is another optional stop and you can arrange for a guide locally to lead you through the forgotten city, and tell you the stories behind the monuments.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, you’ll drive on to Agra, where you’ll arrive at your clean and comfortable hotel, the next stop on this India itinerary.
Holiday in India - Fatehpur Sikri
Holiday in India - Taj Mahal

Day 17: Agra - Taj Mahal & Agra Fort Tour

After breakfast on day seventeen of your India itinerary, you’ll set off to visit two breathtaking sites. First, you’ll be taken to the Taj Mahal, a highlight of any trip to India. Standing serenely in the first light of the morning, this stunning building will surpass all your expectations. It was built by Shah Jahan as a token of his love for his deceased wife, and is undoubtedly the most romantic burial site in the world.

After visiting the Taj Mahal, you’ll continue your India itinerary as you head for Agra Fort. This huge structure seems to be immersed in a dreamy atmosphere when it’s bathed in the golden light of late afternoon, which slants through the pillars and galleries. From its majestic walls and through its arches, you can see the Taj Mahal, just as Shah Jahan would have done centuries ago, when he was imprisoned here by his son. You'll return to your hotel by lunchtime and you'll have the rest of the afternoon at your own pace.

Day 18: Agra - Delhi

Today, you will be collected from your Agra hotel by your driver and you will be transferred back to Delhi. You'll stay in the same charming hotel in Central Delhi as before, with comfortable rooms and modern facilities. The hotel is close to both the alleyways and spice bazaars of Old Delhi and the spacious shopping emporiums of Connaught Place.

You can use day eighteen of your India trip in Delhi to explore the city's sights- the crowded, narrow lanes of Chandi Chowk, the stately Humayan’s Tomb, the greenery of Lodi Gardens, and the fascinating and moving Gandhi Museum. If you didn't get the chance to visit the Red Fort in Delhi the first time, then we would recommend visiting.
Holiday in India- Red Fort Delhi
Holiday in India- Delhi Traffic

 Day 19: Departure from Delhi

Your India itinerary ends after breakfast this morning. When the time comes, you'll be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport to check in for your flight back to the UK, or if you are staying on in India your Travel Specialist can discuss further options and ways of extending this suggested itinerary. 
Make sure you allow a minimum of three hours to check in for your international flights.

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