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Rajasthan holiday - Camel Herders

Enchanting Cities of Rajasthan



Route (train): Delhi – Jaipur – Pushkar – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Jaipur – Agra - Delhi

Route (flight): Delhi – Jaipur – Pushkar – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Delhi – Agra – Delhi

This Rajasthan holiday will give you the very best of maharajan Rajasthan, with its glittering palaces, shining silks and mighty forts. You'll visit the most famous cities from fairy-tale Jaisalmer to the Pink City of Jaipur with with its imposing Palace of the Winds, Amber Fort and Tiger Fort.You'll also watch camels plod through Pushkar, see the elegant lake palace in Udaipur, admire the blue houses in Jodhpur and visit the humbling Taj Mahal.

To find out more, simply give one of our friendly India Travel Specialists a call on 01273 322044. If you've got more time during your India trip, take a look at our other holidays to India. Alternatively, if you would prefer to build your own India trip, take a look at our range of unique bite-sized India tours.
Duration 17 days / 16 nights - travelling by train
14 days / 13 nights - travelling by plane

Departs every day from Delhi

Accommodation

Characterful hotels and havelis. Comfort level 3/4 (see accommodation).

Price

£1025 per person - travelling by train £1075 per person - travelling by plane

Both based on 2 people sharing a private trip

Includes

Accommodation with breakfast, transport and tours as described. 

Transport

Private car and train/flight

Excludes

International flights, local entrance fees.

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

When you arrive in Delhi at the beginning of your India holiday package, you’ll be collected by private car. Your driver will take you directly to your hotel. You stay in a comfortable hotel, with modern facilities, in Central Delhi, an ideal base to explore both the spice markets of Chandi Chowk and the modern bars of Connaught Place. Street stalls, shops and restaurants are nearby. Here, you can catch your breath and rest after your flight. All our Delhi hotels have comfortable rooms with private en-suite bathrooms and breakfast included.

Although there's nothing planned for you today, if you have time you might want to visit the impressive Qutab Minar complex and Humayun's Tomb, both World Heritage Sites. The Qutab Minar has a 5-storey, 72-metre victory tower of red sandstone. Humayun's Tomb is a grand sandstone mausoleum in proper Mughal style. The Taj Mahal, built much later, follows a similar style of architecture.
Rajasthan holiday - Delhi streets
Rajasthan holiday - Charming hotel in Jaipur

Day 2: Delhi - Jaipur

On day two of your Rajasthan holiday 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 on this Rajasthan holiday in this elegant and astonishing city that you could spend weeks here without getting bored. Jaipur centre is a colourful mix of saris, saddhus, holy cows, spice markets, street vendors, camel carts, elephants, beggars, traffic, temples, forts and palaces.

In Jaipur, you’ll stay in a friendly family hotel for a firsthand experience of typical Indian hospitality. Breakfast is served in the peaceful courtyard/garden 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 some have four-poster beds.

Day 3: Jaipur - City tour

On day three of your Rajasthan holiday, you’ll take a guided tour of Jaipur, visiting the City Palace, the Observatory and the fairy-tale Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal). In the afternoon, you’ll visit the imposing Amber Fort that lies just outside the city limits. From the battlements of the Amber Fort, you’ll have a wonderful view of the rocky hills and the forts constructed by the Rajputs and the Mughals in the area.

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. You'll have plenty of time to explore at your own pace during your Rajasthan holiday.
Rajasthan holiday - Palace of the Winds
Rajasthan holiday - Pushkar Lake

Day 4: Jaipur - Pushkar

Today, you’ll leave Jaipur as you continue travelling on your Rajasthan holiday to the attractive town of Pushkar. You’ll spend tonight in a palace where almost all of the rooms have lake views. The palace has a completely unique atmosphere. On the opposite bank of the lake, you’ll see pilgrims bathing and, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear them singing.

Pushkar is a picturesque holy town in the desert, with pastel-coloured buildings lining narrow streets. There are dozens of rooftop cafes looking out over the city towards the lake - perfect places to linger over coffee or lunch on your Rajasthan holiday. Your comfortable hotel in Pushkar has an exotic indoor garden and a terrace with stunning views which helps to create a special atmosphere.

Day 5: Pushkar - Free time

Today is free to spend as you wish, why not wander through the twisting alleys of the old centre 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 November, over 25,000 camels will plod into the town to be traded by their owners, and huge crowds of pilgrims arrive. If you are not travelling during the Camel Fair it is still very likely that you will spot a few camels during your time here. If you are feeling adventurous then you can even arrange to go on a camel ride around Pushkar. These can be easily booked whilst in Puskhar.
Rajasthan holiday - Pushkar Ghats
Rajasthan holiday - Friendly Sadhhus

Day 6: Pushkar - Udaipur

On the sixth day of your India holiday, 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 your Rajasthan tour, staying in a traditional haveli with a charming roof terrace which looks out across Lake Pichola and the old city.

Day 7: Udaipur - guided city tour

On the eighth day of your Rajasthan tour, 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.
Rajasthan holiday - Udaipur Boat Trip
Rajasthan holiday - Ranakpur Temple

Day 8: Udaipur - Ranakpur - Jodhpur

Today, you’ll set off in the direction of Jodhpur, a journey of about 6 hours and the next stop on your Rajasthan holiday. On the way, you'll visit the striking Jain temple of Ranakpur, situated in a beautiful green valley.

The enormous temple complex has 1444 pillars, with stunning decorations carved from stone. Incredibly, none of the pillars are the same. Each has been decorated in its own unique way. Jainism is a religion that originated in North East India about the same time as Buddhism (around 400BC) and it is still popular across the country today.

You will then continue onto Jodhpur where you will stay in a comfortable hotel in the old part of the city, at the foot of the mighty fort.

Day 9: Jodhpur

After breakfast on day nine 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. 

The afternoon is free to spend as you wish, 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.
Rajasthan holiday - Jodhpur, 'The Blue City'
Rajasthan holiday - Friendly Local

Day 10: Jodhpur - Jaisalmer

After breakfast on day ten of your Rajasthan holiday, 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. This 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. The Fort is built from sandstone, almost blending into its surrounding landscape and giving it a bewitching haziness. From the uppermost walls of the fort, you’ll have a magnificent view over the desolate Thar Desert that spreads dramatically from the foot of the castle. In the distance, you’ll see Sahara-style sand dunes. You can take spectacular camel safaris to the dunes, guided by a member of the camel drivers’ caste.

In the evenings, you can eat in one of the small restaurants in the fort or in one of the many rooftop restaurants outside the castle walls. You’ll sleep in style on your Rajasthan holiday, staying in an authentic haveli.

Day 11: Jaisalmer - Free time

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.
Rajasthan holiday - Jaisalmer Camel Safari
Rajasthan holiday - Overnight Train

Day 12: Jaisalmer - Overnight train to Jaipur

You'll have most of today free to make the most of your remaining time in Jaisalmer on this Rajasthan holiday. Then, in the late afternoon, you'll take the overnight train back to Jaipur which will take about 13 hours.

We recommend buying some snacks and water in advance, although if you forget to stock up, you can usually find some on board. Travelling on the railway in India is a memorable experience and, another adventure to add to your Indian experience.

Day 13: Jaipur - Free time

You'll arrive early this morning in Jaipur and head towards the same family hotel as earlier in your trip. You'll be welcomed back enthusiastically and after settling in and freshening up, you'll have the rest of the day free to explore more of Jaipur.

Jaipur is famous for textiles and jewellery. You can find both of these in abundance in the bazaar, which is one of the biggest, and perhaps the best, in the region. Equally, the pink-meringue-like cinema in Jaipur is famous for its flambuoyant design, making it the perfect place to catch a Bollywood film during your stay. 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.
Rajasthan holiday - The Royal Palace, Jaipur
Rajasthan holiday - Galta

Day 14: Jaipur - Galta - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra

On day fourteen of your Rajasthan holiday, you'll leave Jaipur and head east towards Galta, a secluded mystical spot that will leave a lasting impression on you. The Monkey Temple here is a pilgrimage site that attracts flocks of brightly-robed devotees every day. The stream that trickles out of the rocks here is reputed to be water 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. This is an optional stop so just ask your driver.

After Galta, you’ll drive for another three hours before arriving in Bharatpur. This is one of the most peaceful places you can visit during your Rajasthan holiday, a fascinating waterworld, crossed with many pathways that your cycle-rickshaw driver can take you along. Maharajas of the historic Singh family used this region as their hunting grounds, and the scenery is breathtaking. If you like, you can stop off here too to stretch your legs.
There are hundreds of rare birds in the Bharatpur wetlands, such as the rare Siberian crane. Currently, there are several 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 kilometres further on, you’ll come to stunning 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. Now it is an atmospheric ghost city, full of green parrots and monkeys. If you would like a guided tour you can arrange this locally or explore the forgotten city on your own. This is an option stop so just speak to your driver if you'd rather head straight to Agra.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri on your Rajasthan holiday, you’ll drive on to Agra, where you’ll arrive at your clean and comfortable hotel near the centre of town.
Rajasthan holiday - Bharatpur
Rajasthan holiday - Taj Mahal sunrise visit

Day 15: Agra - Taj Mahal

After breakfast on day thirteen of your Rajasthan holiday, you’ll set off to visit another two breathtaking sites. In the early morning, you’ll be taken to the Taj Mahal, a highlight of any trip to India. 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 this, you’ll head for Agra Fort, the next sight on your Rajasthan holiday. This huge but restrained 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 the rest of the afternoon will be free for you to explore or relax at your own leisure.

Day 16: 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 seventeen 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.
Rajasthan holiday - Friendly driver
Rajasthan holiday - Delhi Auto-Rickshaw

Day 17: Departure from Delhi

Your India holiday package ends after breakfast this morning. When the time comes, you'll head for 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.

By plane

If you choose to do the plane version of this itinerary, your trip will differ slightly from the one above. On day 10, instead of heading to Jaisalmer, you will be transferred to Jodhpur airport where you will board a flight to Delhi.

After spending the night in Delhi, you will head to Agra for the Taj Mahal and continue the trip as normal from here. This version of the itinerary is 14 days and 13 nights long. 
Rajasthan-India domestic flight

A peek at your Rajasthan holiday accommodation (click to enlarge)

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