Rajasthan: Revived Glory
Trip Code: AITRVG
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A principal attraction of Rajasthan is the majestic forts and palaces built by the Rajputs over the centuries. Many of these spectacular buildings have been restored and converted into hotels, reviving the glorious lifestyle of the rulers who built them.
A feature of this trip is stays in a variety of heritage hotels, from magnificent Rajput forts and lavish Mughal pleasure palaces, to later elegant colonial and art deco styled hotels. Renovated or refurbished to their former glory, they offer a first hand experience of Rajasthan’s rich history and hospitality. Private guided walks are also a feature, offering an insight into the remarkable art and craftsmanship that surround guests in these splendid heritage properties.
Day 1 Delhi
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation, The Imperial. Built in 1931, the hotel is a blend of Victorian, colonial and art deco styles. Its elegant and spacious rooms have high ceilings, marble floors, Burma teak and rosewood furniture; its lovely gardens provide a serene retreat from the teeming city. An impressive wealth of original 18th and 19th century art adorns its corridors, earning it the title, ‘Museum Hotel’.
Day 2 Delhi
Explore ‘Imperial New Delhi’ on a guided walk today. It takes you through tree-lined avenues with spacious bungalows housing ministers, judges and senior civil servants, on to the open square where the majestic buildings of Parliament are located, and up the hill on which stands the Presidential House, the Prime Minister’s office and other important ministries. These colonial buildings provide a remarkable insight into the dream project of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Day 3 Delhi
Delhi has something for everyone – from ancient historic sites, museums and art galleries to a diverse range of eateries, shops and bazaars. A vehicle at your disposal will enable you to explore and pursue your own interests. Three of the city’s main sights are the UNESCO World Heritage listed Red Fort, Humayan’s Tomb and the Qutab Minar. Of course, no stay in Delhi is complete without a visit to the famous bazaars of Chandni Chowk.
Day 4 Jaipur
Travel to Rambagh Palace today. From the home of a queen’s favourite handmaiden, to royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, and later as the residence of a Maharaja, this ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ has experienced many royal transitions. Its elegant rooms, marbled corridors and majestic gardens echo with history. Built in 1835, it remained the home of Jaipur’s Royalty until 1957, when it was converted into a heritage hotel. A shower of petals and a garland of flowers will welcome you!
Day 5 Jaipur
Take a fascinating guided walk today. Mingle and talk with locals whilst sampling some of the region’s culinary delights from popular street food vendors. Observe artisans in their workshops including jewellers and silversmiths, gold painters and tie dying experts. Midway through the walk visit a resident in his private haveli, which is beautifully decorated with gold painting, rich tapestries, carpets and rare artefacts, before finishing at Tripolia Gate to enjoy the colourful and vibrant bazaar.
Day 6 Jaipur
Set out on a jeep safari for Samode Bagh. Built 250 years ago, it is modelled on the geometric style of a Mughal garden and provides an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The drive takes you through remote and scenic countryside, past open fields, rocky hillocks, imposing forts and villages. Enjoy lunch at Samode Bagh in a luxurious open sided dining tent set amidst expansive gardens replete with pavilions, fountains, waterways, lawns and flowerbeds.
Day 7 Kishangarh
Depart Jaipur today for Kishangarh and your accommodation here, Roopangarh Fort. An important fort of the Kishangarh rulers, it was built in 1648 on the old caravan route along the Sambhar Lake; it is now a heritage hotel featuring very large, spacious rooms. Spend some time exploring the fort, with its underground tank, secret passage, jail and other historic buildings, exuding a unique sense of Rajput history.
Day 8 Nagaur
Depart Kishangarh for your magical accommodation – Ranvas Nagaur Fort. During the 18th century, the ruling Maharaja created a series of pleasure palaces, each evoking the senses – from the sound of water fountains, to vivid fresco paintings and perfectly constructed geometric gardens. Ten havelis, 18th century residences, of the Maharaja’s wives have been meticulously restored. Each features a private courtyard and is furnished with rare artefacts. This is a very special heritage property.
Day 9 Nagaur
Visit the massive 12th century Ahhichatragarh Fort (Fort of the Hooded Cobra) today. A huge, rambling complex covering almost 15 hectares surrounded by over 2 kms of ramparts, it was constructed around 1120. It has a number of interesting areas to explore, such as painted palaces, mosques, temples, baoris (reservoirs), fountains, open terraces and Mughal pleasure gardens. Spend the afternoon lazing by the hotel swimming pool or indulging in a treatment at the spa centre.
Day 10 Jodhpur
Depart Nagaur for Jodhpur and your magnificent accommodation here, Umaid Bhawan Palace, surrounded by lush gardens. Perched high above the desert capital, it was built between 1928 and 1943; this golden hued sandstone monument was conceived on a grand scale in the fashionable Art Deco Style of that time. A blend of eastern and western architectural influences, its lavish interiors contain gilt furniture and elegant artworks. It is the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family.
Day 11 Jodhpur
Dive deep into the blue hued heart of Jodhpur today with a guided walking tour. Explore lesser known treasures of the city: visit ancient temples, learn about legends from the past and meet the local priests; discover ancient step wells which play a vital role in the religious and social life of surrounding residents; wander through the narrow alleyways and interact with locals whilst sampling delicious street food; and explore vibrant bazaars and markets.
Day 12 Jodhpur
Day at leisure. Your hotel offers a number of relaxation options – from a game of tennis or squash, or a dip in the outdoor pool – to horseback riding or a safari into the countryside in a vintage car. Alternatively, explore the local markets and bazaars. Roam the narrow lanes dotted with tiny shops selling exquisite Rajasthani textiles, handicrafts, clay figures of camels and elephants, marble curios with inlay work and exquisite Rajasthani silver jewellery.
Day 13 Narlai
Today drive to Rawla Narlai, a charming heritage hotel in the countryside. Take a walk to the top of the hill overlooking the small village of Narlai or visit the village itself, where there are many temples. This evening take a journey from the Rawla through the village streets into the jungle to the 1100 year old “step well”. A traditional dinner will be served in this magical setting illuminated by oil lamps. This is an unforgettable experience.
Day 14 Delwara
Nestled in the Aravalli hills, the 18th century Devi Garh Palace is your destination today. Surrounded by lush green fields and mountains on three sides, it overlooks the 450-year-old village of Delwara. Following years of restoration and rebuilding – using local marble and semi-precious stones – this magnificent fort palace is now a heritage hotel. The village of Delwara boasts four exquisitely carved 14th century Jain temples – they are well worth a visit.
Day 15 Delwara
Enjoy a guided walk this morning. You will be collected from your hotel and transfer to the village of Morwaniya from where the walk begins. You will have an opportunity to meet with a few villagers, visit their homes and observe their lifestyle. Hiking through a blend of rugged terrain and hills and agricultural fields you will arrive at your destination, Badi Lake, which is graced by three lovely chattris (pavilions). After lunch here, return to your hotel.
Day 16 Udaipur
Depart Delwara for Udaipur and your accommodation here, the incomparable Taj Lake Palace. This resplendent white marble palace – rising out of Lake Pichola, surrounded by the majestic Aravali hills on one side and regal palaces on the other – is surely the most romantic hotel in India. Built in 1743 to serve as the pleasure palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II, it comprises pavilions, archways, towers and carvings, scenic courtyards, well-kept lawns, lily-filled ponds and fountains.
Day 17 Udaipur
Enjoy a unique ‘heritage walk’ today. Discover the hidden quarters of this romantic city as you meet and interact with various locals and observe them engaging in silver and gold jewellery making, pottery and bamboo crafts. Soak in the sights, sounds and smells of bustling markets and bazaars, ghats, historic temples and ancient stepwells. Join a family for a cup of tea and snacks in their private 150-year-old residence decorated with fresco paintings and mirror work.
Day 18 Udaipur
Day free. There are countless unique experiences to be had at your hotel: learn the Rajasthani art of miniature painting, take cookery lessons, have an astrology reading or indulge in traditional Indian spa treatments. A guided walk through the palace provides an insider’s perspective on this enduring symbol of elegance and romance. End your leisurely day with a sunset sail on a 150-year old ceremonial barge lit by candlelight; this is a magical experience.
Day 19 Udaipur
Transfer to the airport for your flight to another Indian destination or return international flight home.
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