Trip Code: AITQTR
Option 1 Prices – havelis and B&Bs: from AU$3,490 per person twin share
Option 2 Prices – 4 star conventional and heritage hotels: from AU$4,725 per person twin share
Prices are valid until 30 September 2020, except for the Christmas / New Year period.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices.
- Accommodation in a double or twin room with breakfast
- Air-conditioned Toyota Innova vehicle with English speaking driver for all transfers, touring and sightseeing as per the itinerary
- All expenses related to the vehicle and driver such as fuel, tolls, parking charges, inter-state tax, driver accommodation and meals, etc
- English speaking local guides in Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur
- Rickshaw ride in Delhi
- Elephant ride in Jaipur
- Boat ride and ‘Sound and Light’ show in Udaipur
- Entry fees to monuments in each city
- Assistance on arrival and departure at airports
- 24 hour support through our local representative offices
- Complimentary mineral water in the vehicles
- Camera fees at sightseeing places
- Activities other than those specifically mentioned as included
- Meals other than those mentioned as included
- Tips, porterage and personal expenses
- Visa Fees
- Flights (approximate fare subject to availability): Udaipur to Delhi – AU$155
Option 1 Hotels:
- Delhi: Thikana
- Agra: Mansingh Palace
- Jaipur: Dera Mandawa
- Jodhpur: Pal Haveli
- Udaipur: Jagat Niwas Palace
Option 2 Hotels:
This 10-day itinerary is the perfect introduction to the splendours of the former princely state of Rajasthan and includes one-night stays in the Indian capital, Delhi, and in Agra, home of the sublime Taj Mahal.
Another in our line of “Quintessential” itineraries, this bite-sized tour of Rajasthan is aimed at first-time visitors to the state who have limited time but still want to sample the richness of its culture – magnificent forts, ornate palaces, museums showcasing artefacts from a fascinating past of valour and bravery, temples, lakes and deserts, and vibrant bazaars filled with exquisite jewellery, textiles and crafts. A highlight of this trip is the opportunity to stay in some of the state’s royal palaces or forts, now restored heritage hotels.
Please note that more time in Rajasthan is most worthwhile, if your timeframe allows for it. Please ask us to create a customised itinerary based on your interests and the amount of time you have available.
Day 1 Delhi
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. For most first-time visitors Delhi is a city of just two faces – Old Delhi with its vibrant bazaars, such as Chandni Chowk and its remarkable Moghul monuments and forts – and New Delhi with its wide tree-lined avenues and modern developments. Delve a little deeper you and you will discover why Delhi is known as the “Immortal City”; built between the 10th and 21st centuries, it has a remarkably long and continuous history, making it one of India’s most fascinating and intriguing cities.
Day 2 Delhi
Delhi offers an abundance of spectacular sights to explore. Spend today with a local guide who will tailor the day’s program to suit your interests. You may like to begin with a cycle-rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes and crowded bazaars of Chandni Chowk – the ‘Moonlit Square’ – which will transport you back four hundred years.
Wander through the Qutab Complex, located in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, which contains a number of historic sites, including the towering (72.5 metre) red sandstone minaret of Qutab Minar. Construction of the tower was commenced by the first Muslim ruler of Delhi in 1200 AD; it was completed in 1368.
Explore the magnificent garden-tomb of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun. Built in 1565, this is a fine example of early Mughal architecture; it inspired many later monuments culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal a century later.
Visit Jama Masjid (World Reflecting Mosque) the greatest mosque in India, constructed in 1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the city’s Red Fort and Agra’s Taj Mahal.
You may also like to visit Raj Ghat, the simple and moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the modern lotus-shaped Ba’hai temple and the stately government buildings, colonial bungalows and Presidential Palace in the tree-lined boulevards of British architect Edwin Lutyens’ New Delhi.
Day 3 Agra
Depart for Agra this morning. The capital of Mughal India during the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra is home to a magnificent fort and, of course, the Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World – which draws close to 4 million visitors a year.
Explore the red sandstone Agra Fort this afternoon. Situated on the west bank of the Yamuna River, it was built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1573. The complex encompasses some of India’s finest Mughal buildings such as the Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Sheesh Mahal and the Musamman Burj (from where Shah Jahan, during the last years of his life, was able to view the Taj Mahal in the distance).
Day 4 Jaipur
Rise early to see the sun come up over the white marble dome of the Taj Mahal – a quintessential Indian experience. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz, who died in 1631, this garden-tomb is both a massive and a sublime monument to love. Perfectly symmetrical and exquisitely crafted, it is said to have taken 20,000 labourers and craftsmen from India and central Asia twenty-two years to build.
Return to your hotel for breakfast before departing for Jaipur. Make a stop along the way to visit the awesome red sandstone Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built between 1569 and 1585, this was the imperial capital of Emperor Akbar. Abandoned in 1600 (due perhaps to insufficient water) it remains in a well-preserved state. One of its finest structures is the marble Tomb of Salim Chisti – a dazzling white jewel set in a dusky-pink sandstone courtyard.
Continue on to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727, Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the painted exteriors of the buildings in its old walled town. They were painted pink by Maharaja Ram Singh in 1876, in honour of the visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).
Day 5 Jaipur
Explore Jaipur with a local guide today. Begin with an elephant ride up to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort, located high on a hill just outside the city. Established in 1592 by Man Singh I on the remains of an 11th century fort, it was the Kachhawahas citadel until 1727 when their capital was moved to Jaipur. One of the complex’s loveliest buildings is the Sheesh Mahal completely decorated in glittering mirrors.
Afterwards, tour the City Palace; a splendid introduction to Jaipur’s princely past, the sprawling complex is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture with open, airy public buildings leading to private apartments. It houses a museum of treasures including royal costumes and weaponry, musical instruments, Mughal carpets, manuscripts and miniature paintings.
Continue on to Jantar Mantar, a brilliantly designed ancient astronomical observatory built between 1728 and 1734 by Sawai Jai Singh II. A keen astronomer, he built five observatories in all – this one being the largest and best preserved.
End your tour at the whimsical Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). Five storeys high, but just one room deep, it was designed in 1799 to extend the chambers of the harem and allow royal ladies to observe unnoticed everyday life in the streets below. It has become a familiar icon for Jaipur
The remainder of the day is free. You may like to spend some time wandering the fascinating bazaars and shopping for colourful Rajasthani souvenirs – papier-mache puppets, traditional jooti (curly toe) shoes, jewellery and textiles.
Day 6 Jodhpur
Depart for Jodhpur this morning. Founded by Rajput Chief Rao Jodha in 1459 Jodhpur was once the capital of the Marwar State and a major trading centre in the 16th century due to its location on the ancient silk route. Set on the edge of the mighty Thar Desert, today it is Rajasthan’s second largest city and is known as the ‘Blue City’ (because of the indigo-painted houses in the old town).
Day 7 Jodhpur
Begin your exploration of Jodhpur today with a visit to the massive Mehrangarh Fort. Situated on a rocky hill overlooking the city, this is one of Rajasthan’s largest and best-preserved forts. Founded in 1638, it was built over a period of 500 years, thus displaying a variety of architectural styles representative of many different periods. The many fine palaces within it, with their beautifully preserved royal apartments and intricately carved balconies, are interspersed with sprawling courtyards. Its museum houses collections of many priceless relics of Indian courtly life including old weapons, arms, musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes and furniture.
Continue on to another of the city’s architectural landmarks, the exquisite Jaswant Thada. A royal cenotaph, it was built in 1899 by Jaswant Singh’s Maharani in her husband’s memory. A stunning creation, it was constructed of extremely thin and highly polished intricately carved sheets of white marble. Set in a lovely multi-tiered garden with gazebos and a small lake, it stands in delicate contrast to the colossal Fort.
Afterwards you may like to spend some time strolling through the fascinating maze of bazaars around the city’s tall clock tower.
Day 8 Udaipur
Depart this morning for Udaipur, Rajasthan’s ‘White City’, also known as the ‘City of Lakes’. With its white marble palaces, lakes and lush green hills, this is one of Rajasthan’s most romantic cities and very popular with travellers.
Later this afternoon enjoy a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola – a lovely introduction to this magical city.
Day 9 Udaipur
Spend today sightseeing with a local guide, beginning at the City Palace. Begun in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh, the city’s founder, it was added to by successive rulers over the following 300 hundred years. An immense complex – the largest in Rajasthan – it comprises eleven separate mahals (palaces) linked by a number of courtyards and gardens. Two of its most beautiful are the Mor Chowk or Peacock Square, with three intricately carved and brilliantly coloured peacocks in fine mosaic relief and the Sheesh Mahal, the Palace of Mirrors and Glass. The complex includes a museum, which houses interesting artefacts from the days of royalty.
Continue on to the Jagdish Temple; constructed in 1652, it is the largest in Udaipur. Built in Indo-Aryan style, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, the creator of the universe. The temple walls and the shikara or tower are decorated with carvings of Vishnu, scenes from Lord Krishna’s life and figurines of nymphs or apsaras. Like most Hindu temples, this is a centre of activity with a constant stream of devotees who come here to worship.
End your tour at the gardens of Sahelion-Ki-Bari, which were laid out in the mid-18th century for a retinue of forty-eight young ladies-in-waiting who were sent to Udaipur as part of a princess’s dowry. Ornamental pleasure gardens, they feature lawns, marble pavilions and an elegant round lotus pond with four marble elephants spouting water.
This evening you may like to attend a dramatic ‘Sound and Light’ show at the City Palace – a perfect end to your tour of Rajasthan!
Day 10 Delhi
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Delhi and onwards to your next destination.
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