The princely state of Rajasthan is India at its colorful best, home to magnificent, ornate palaces and majestic forts. Following a tour of the sights of imperial Delhi, travel through the heart of the historic state of Rajasthan, discovering its culture and traditions, explore the romance of a bygone era and complete your comprehensive journey at the astoundingly beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra.
On arrival, you will be met and taken to your hotel.
Shah Jahan founded the city of Shahjahanabad, now referred to as Old Delhi, in 1648. The famous Red Fort in the heart of Old Delhi was once the most opulent fort of the Mughal empire and it boasts the Diwan-i-Am, Hall of Public Audience, and the Diwan-i-Khas, Hall of Private Audience. A short drive from the fort is the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world, built by Shah Jahan to dominate his city
Drive from Delhi to Alsisar, a journey of 163 miles and approximately 6.5 hours. This afternoon there will be a walking tour through Alsisar village to see the painted Havelis. Depending upon availability of guides this excursion may take place at Mandawa, or another village in the Shekhawati region.
Drive from Alsisar to Bikaner, a distance of 118 miles and journey time of approximately 5 hours.Enjoy an afternoon tour of Bikaner. On this tour, you will visit Junagarh Fort, one of the most interesting forts in Rajasthan, with its sumptuously decorated interiors. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh it is unusual in that it was one of the few major forts of Rajasthan that was not built on a hilltop. Instead, it was built on the desert plains; its rugged sandstone bastions and graceful pavilions and balconies are silhouetted against the sky.
Drive from Bikaner to Jaisalmer, a journey of 207 miles and approximately 7 hours, including stops.
In the morning, explore Jaisalmer fort, one of the largest in the world. The majestic fort's yellow sandstone walls are a tawny color during the day and turn a magical honey gold during the sunset against the picturesque yellow desert. During your tour, visit the Gadisagar Lake - rainwater reservoir built in 1367, the delightful Folklore Museum and the famous Nathwon and Patwon Ki havelis
Drive from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, a journey of 180 miles and approximately 7.5 hours, including stops. This afternoon, proceed on a tour of Mehrangarh fort. The magnificent Mehrangarh fort is set high on a hill overlooking the city. Inside are some of the most intricately ornamented palaces with exquisitely carved panels and latticed windows. The palaces have evocative names: the Moti Mahal, or Pearl Palace; the Phool Mahal, or Flower Palace; and the Sukh Mahal, or Pleasure Palace
Drive from Jodhpur to Ranakpur, a distance of 118 miles and journey time of approximately 5 hours. En route visit the Ranakpur Temples. Ranakpur is one of the largest and most important Jain temple complexes in India. The main temple is the Chaumukha Temple, or Four-Faced Temple, dedicated to Adinath and built in 1439. This huge and superbly crafted temple has 29 halls supported by 1,444 pillars, no two of which are alike. Drive to Udaipur, a distance of 62 miles and journey time of approximately 3 hours.
This morning, enjoy an excursion to Eklingji and Nagda. Eklingji and Nagda are 14 miles from Udaipur set in a deep ravine containing Eklingji Lake. The white marble Elalinga Temple with a two-storey mandapa to Siva, the family deity of the Mewars, dates from 734 AD but was rebuilt in the 15th century. There is a silver door and screen and a silver nandi facing the black marble Siva.
Drive from Udaipur to Jaipur, a journey of 248 miles and approximately 7 hours, not including stops.
Enjoy a morning excursion to Amber. The ancient Rajput capital is located on a hill 7 miles north of Jaipur. Amber was the capital of the Kachhwaha Rajputs from 1037 until the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh founded Jaipur in 1727, but the majestic fort-palace was not begun until about 1600.
Today you will be transferred from Jaipur to Agra, a distance of 146 miles and a journey time of approximately 8 hours including a stop for lunch (payable locally) and visit to Fatehpur Sikri. This afternoon, visit the Taj Mahal. Today, you will be taken to the Taj Mahal, built as a monument of eternal love by Shah Jahan to his bride Mumtaz Maha. The Taj Mahal looks amazingly graceful from almost any angle. It was built over a period of 20 years by 20,000 laborers and craftsmen, and displays superb craftsmanship
Enjoy a morning tour of Agra Fort. Akbar began Agra Fort in 1565, with additions to the citadel being made through to the time of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan. The citadel consists of marble palaces, ornate alcoves and terrace pavilions. Drive from Agra to Delhi, a distance of 125 miles and journey time of approximately 4 hours.
You will be collected at your hotel and taken to the airport.