29 September 2016
This two-week tour is the perfect choice for anyone really wanting to get to the heart of Rajasthan. Beginning with the "Golden Triangle" cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and, of course, taking in the unforgettable Taj Mahal, you'll also tour the imposing forts and palaces of Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, as well as the opulent palaces of Udaipur, "The Venice of the East". It's a rare trip that crams so many unforgettable sights into just two weeks, while also building in opportunities to relax and reflect in stunning surroundings.
Your tour begins as you're met at Delhi International Airport and transferred to your hotel, where you have the rest of the day at leisure to begin exploring or just relax.
After breakfast this morning you'll enjoy a full-day tour of India's buzzing capital. You'll begin in Old Delhi, where you'll visit the 17th-century Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, and walk or take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the colourful Chandni Chowk market. You'll also visit the opulent Red Fort, as well as Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. In the afternoon you'll explore New Delhi, taking in the Presidential Palace and the India Gate, a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed during the Afghan war. You'll visit the 12th-century Qutab Minar tower and the 16th-century Humayun's tomb, a precursor to the Taj Mahal.
After breakfast this morning you'll be driven to Agra, where you'll check into your hotel then enjoy a sightseeing tour. You will visit Agra Fort before heading to the truly breathtaking Taj Mahal, a trip you'll never forget.
This morning you'll depart Agra for Jaipur, with a stop en route at Fatehpur Sikri, a spectacular city built from red sandstone in the 16th century. On arrival in Jaipur you'll check in at your hotel then have the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you will visit Amber Fort, the former seat of the Rajput rulers of Jaipur. Afterwards, you'll take a sightseeing tour of Jaipur, taking in the City Palace, known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. You'll also visit the Central Museum, to admire the collections of woodwork, jewellery, costumes, brassware and pottery, then head to Jantar Mantar, the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh, and the Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds, constructed so that the royal ladies could watch processions without being seen.
After breakfast this morning you'll be driven to Bikaner, famed for its imposing palaces and temples, carved from red and yellow sandstone, where you'll check in to your hotel then have the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you'll enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Bikaner, beginning at the Junagarh Fort, built in 1593 and boasting some of the finest stone carving in Rajasthan. You'll visit some of the town's most spectacular palaces, their interiors decorated with shells, mirror and glass inlays, gold leaf and lacquerwork, and explore the town's museum.
After breakfast this morning you'll be driven to the city of Jaisalmer, in the heart of the Thar Desert, famed for its commanding yellow sandstone fort. After checking in at your hotel you have the rest of the day at leisure to relax and stroll the city streets.
This morning you'll visit the impressive Jaisalmer Fort, as well as three beautifully sculpted Jain temples built between the 12th and 13th centuries and the city's five interconnected palaces. In the afternoon you'll visit some typical desert villages en route to the desert outpost of Sam, from where you'll explore the desert on camel back and have the chance to see – and photograph – the spectacular rippled sand dunes.
This morning you'll be driven to the historic walled city of Jodhpur, where you'll check in to your hotel then have the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you'll visit the Mehrangarh Fort (Citadel of the Sun), Rajasthan's most impressive fort. Within the structure are a whole series of courtyards and palaces, decorated with beautiful friezes, as well as numerous museums, displaying treasures belonging to the royal family. Next you'll head to Jaswant Thanda, a marble memorial to the popular ruler Jaswant Singh II (1878-95), and an excellent spot from which to photograph the fort, looming above the rocky Meherangarh plateau. Afterwards you'll drive to Deogarh, an attractive town with an old fort and a palace decorated with beautifully intricate murals. After checking in to your hotel you're at leisure to explore the historic buildings, or perhaps head to Raghosagar Lake, where you'll find an island with a ruined temple and tombs, as well as numerous bird species, or the Anjaneshwar Mahadev cave temple, believed to be around 2,000 years old.
This morning you're at leisure to relax or continue exploring Deogarh before this afternoon's drive to Udaipur, known as "The Venice of the East", nestled in a lush valley beside the clear blue waters of Lake Pichola. After checking in to your hotel you'll have the rest of the day at leisure to wander the narrow lanes flanked by bright market stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples.
Today you'll enjoy a city tour of Udaipur. You'll begin at the City Palace, a conglomerate of 11 palaces overlooking Lake Pichola, where you'll tour the private collection of precious and rare crystals. Next you'll head to Jagdish Temple and the spectacular Sahelion-ki-bari garden. In the afternoon you'll take a cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola towards Jag Mandir Palace, which covers almost four acres and is noted for its marble pavilion and imposing dome, before exploring the local market.
After breakfast this morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi, where you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You'll have the remainder of the day at leisure to relax or take a final sightseeing stroll.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning as you're transferred to the airport for your onward journey.
Standard fr £1089pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated