The Taj Mahal and other marvels of Rajasthan

Rajasthan, famed for its Indian princes, palaces and majestic gardens. A culturally rich world of beautful saris and Rajput warriors in turbans creating a tapestry of colours. This incredible experience of India begins with a visit to the Magnificent Taj Mahal built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jehan. Walk through the Bharatpur Bird sanctuary, the Pink city of Jaipur, the white city of Pushkar, and the Blue city of Jodhpur – the former capital of the Marwar state, and the Golden city of Jaisalmer, a citadel in the middle of the Thar desert. Spend several days in the heart of the Thar Desert hiking along the sand dunes and visiting the small villages. Then, continue towards the lake city of Udaipur where a number of palaces are found in the middle of Lake Pichola. An overnight train journey brings you back to the starting point, Delhi, the perfect destination to end the trip on an unforgettable note.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Welcome in New Delhi - Drive to Agra

    Early morning arrival in Delhi. You will be greeted by your tour manager at the IGI Airport. Transfer to Agra and check in to your hotel. Agra was established in 1475 by Badal Singh and came into the spotlight during the rule of Afghan King Sikandar Lodhi who had made it the capital of his empire. This afternoon, you can visit the Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar in 1565 AD. Construction continued until the rule of his grandson Jehangir almost over a hundred years later. The thick forbidding walls of the Red Fort protect some of the most beautiful monuments inside including the Moti Masjid white marble mosque, the Diwan-i-Aam Hall of Audience, the Diwan-i-Khas Hall of Private Audiences and the iconic Jahangir Mahal. It is from within the Red Fort that emperor Shahjehan used to gaze out towards the Taj Mahal where his beloved queen was buried.

    Drive: 4 hours
    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 2 Taj Mahal - Bharatpur Reserve - Jaipur

    Early morning visit to the monument of eternal love, the Taj Mahal. One of the seven wonders of the world and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 the Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous symbol of India. In 1631, the Mughal emperor Shahjahan lost his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal and started building this tribute to his beloved queen. Work on the mausoleum began in 1633 and 22,000 workers labored for 17 and half years to build it. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Check out and depart for the pink city of Jaipur. Visit the famous bird sanctuary of Bharatpur on the way. Thousands of birds come here every year from as far as Siberia to nest during the winters. Meander through narrow trails, walkways and tracks enjoying the rich variety of wildlife. The park is spread over 29 sq kms and is also home to different species of deer, antelopes and gazelles. Early evening arrival at Jaipur and check in to your hotel. Jaipur was founded by the Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727 when he decided to move from his hillside fortress at Amber to the plains. It is also known as the "Pink City", because of the pink painted sandstone of the buildings in the old walled city.

    Walk: 2 hours
    Drive: 5 hours
    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 3 Visite Jaipur - Pushkar

    After breakfast you leave for a city tour of the pink city . Among the first monuments (seen from outside) is the Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal which was built in 1799 AD. Famous for its beehive like structure, it is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, carefully and painstakingly outlined by white borders and motifs. Close by are the City Palace and the Observatory which were built by the founder of the city and great astronomer Jai Singh II in the year 1727. Continue on to the holy city of Pushkar found on the banks of a lake with the same name.

    Drive: 4 hours
    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 4 Visit Pushkar

    It is believed that Pushkar was founded by the creator of the universe Lord Brahma when a lotus fell from his hands and a lake sprang up from the spot where it touched the ground. Pushkar is a major centre of pilgrimage for many Hindu pilgrims and is home to one of the largest cattle fairs in the country. Every year Pushkar is home to India’s second largest Cattle fair which concludes with a holy dip in the lake on Kartik, full moon night. People from all walks of life, from near and far, gather here to trade their animals and other products - it is a mesmerizing sight for any visitor. Walk 1 to 2 hours through the colourful bazaars and streets of this town soaking in the atmosphere.

    Walk: 3 hours
    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 5 Jodhpur - visit the Citadel and the old city

    Check out after breakfast and drive to Jodhpur, the city of the Sun. Look out for the wave of painted blue houses which honour Lord Krishna. After lunch, visit the majestic Meherangarh fort which overlooks the city. One of the largest and most impregnable forts in the country, it is also among the best preserved and represents Rajput valor and bravery. Then, discover the old city area which has an interesting spice market as well as small workshops run by local craftsmen.

    Drive: 5 hours
    Accommodation: Heritage Hotel

  • Day 6 Jaisalmer Visit

    After breakfast, check out and drive to the desert city of Jaisalmer in the heart of Thar desert. Located on the ancient Silk route, it was one of the most important centres of trade during its hay days. Today it is one of the most interesting cities in the world with a large number of stunning stone carved havelis, latticed stone windows and sombre Jain temples plus an interesting colourful bazaar.

    Drive: 5 hours
    Accommodation: Hotel

  • Day 7 Thar Desert

    After breakfast drive to Phalsund, a village found in the middle of the Thar desert. Rich in bio-diversity, it has a surpisingly large variety of flora and fauna. These seemingly stark lands actually have an interesting amphitheatre of species ranging from caracal (wild cat) to wild donkeys, great Indian bustards, black bucks, nilgai, Bluebulls and more... Meet the local villagers from the area and set up camp amidst the drifting sand dunes. Enjoy a spectacular sunset over the desert...

    Drive: 3 hours 30 minutes
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 8 Desert in the heart of Rajasthani countryside - Dechu

    After breakfast, go walking for 2 – 3 hours exploring the village life in this unique area. As you walk, meet friendly villagers and locals keen to strike up interesting conversations. Later, we drive to Dechu – a charming village on the National Highway between Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Check in at your hotel and discover a refreshing and greener change from the harsh landscape of the previous evening.

    Drive: 2 hours
    Accommodation: Resort

  • Day 9 Dechu - Kherwa

    After breakfast drive to Khairwa, a charming little town en route to Udaipur. Stop for a lunch break at the home of a local couple, Mrs & Mr Singh, who invite you in for a traditional meal. Then, drive towards the foothills of the Aravalli Mountain Range where the elegant Khairwa family have converted their stately home into a charming hotel.

    Drive: 5 hours
    Accommodation: Heritage Hotel

  • Day 10 Kherwa - Jain Temple of Ranakpur - Udaipur

    Breakfast and departure for the Temple town of Ranakpur. The route meanders through green countryside gradually becoming more forested as you approach the lush hills of the Aravalli Range. Along the route, discover numerous villages where you can stop to interact with friendly locals, who love meeting visitors from all over the world. Upon arrival at Ranakpur, visit the exquisite Jain temples with their beautifully carved marble pillars – 1444 in total, of which no two are the same! Afterwards, you resume the drive towards the Lake city of Udaipur.

    Drive: 5 hours
    Accommodation: Lakeside Hotel

  • Day 11 Udaïpur Visit - night train to Delhi

    Breakfast and a full day of discovery in the city of lakes. Also known as the Venice of the East, this city boasts of spectacular marble palaces including the most popular of them all – Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur which floats majestically in the middle of Pichola Lake. Visit the City Palace complex. The royal residence of the Udaipur royal family which has seen 22 generations of rulers who have built, renovated and inhabited it without destroying its glory. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to discover the shopping delights of the citys bazaars before proceeding to the railway station to board an overnight train to Delhi.

    Accommodation: Onboard the train

  • Day 12 End of stay

    End of our services. Depending upon your flight schedule, it is possible to organize some visits in New Delhi. Discover Old Delhi, the Sikh Temple of the India Gate....

    Airport transfer

The details in this programme are updated regularly but imponderables and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the programme may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation in this programme at any time if your technical level or fitness are deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. This will in no case give rise to refunds or compensation.

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

From 1705 US$ per person (based on 2 travelers)

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

  • Private transport as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in a variety of hotels (heritage, charming, camp...) or B&Bs
  • All breakfasts & dinners
  • Accompaniment by an English-speaking Altaï Chauffeur/guide
  • English-speaking local guides during visits as per itinerary
  • Overnight train in sleeper coach from Udaipur - New Delhi

Not included

  • International flights
  • Indian Visa fees
  • Entrance fees to the monuments
  • Insurance: Repatriation, medical, etc.
  • Drinks and lunches
  • Tips, personal expenses and everything not mentioned in the 'Included' section

Notes

For many years, we put our know-how and our experience of Himalayan destinations to the service of travelers from different horizons. You may find yourself in an international group with participants from our various partners.

Level 1/5

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historic sites and becoming immersed in Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

Booking a trip with us implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 30 days before your departure date. We reserve the right to cancel your booking, free of charge, if this deadline is not respected.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, we require written confirmation of your decision so please contact us by e-mail, fax or letter. The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
  • Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: No cancellation fees.
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: 30% of trip price will be retained.
  • Cancellation received within 20 days of the departure date: 70% of trip price will be retained.
Please note if you decide to cancel your trip having agreed, in writing, to pay for additional tailor-made services (hotel, additional flights or activities...), these services are usually non-refundable.

If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances may include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing; you will be expected to pay any fee which might arise from this change. In the event of unforeseen external events, Altaï Nepal may change some aspects of the travel contract. If any changes are necessary you will be informed as quickly as possible.

Pricing

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Contract transfer

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person in which case our modification conditions apply. Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Nepal as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info

Staff

Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge, our professional guides are all real experts. This trip is led by a professional English-speaking driver guide, who is part of the Altai Nepal Team. During the trek, they will be assisted by junior guides, sirdar and porters.

Food

Lodge meals
The international success of treks in the Annapurna and Everest regions influences the economy; tarifs for food and lodging are now set by the National Park and have increased sharply in recent years, but quantities and quality of food have paradoxically decreased. To offset this decline in quality and quantity of food and in order to focus on the local economy, we plan Dal Bhat daily for our menus. It is a balanced dish, full of energy and nutritive intake, not fatty and above all, very digestible (digestion is more difficult at altitude). For all challlenging treks, we provide energy snacks (like dried fruits). Meals in Kathmandu and in the valley are not included in the trip price. You will have plenty of time to discover Indian, Bhutanese, Chinese, Thai and other cuisines.
Please be aware that tap water is not normally drinkable. All drinks are at your own expense.

Accommodation

In Kathmandu and other cities, you will normally be accommodated in 3 * hotels. In more rural areas, we use homestay accommodation with varying comforts (they all have functioning beds, mattresses, tables, chairs, toilets, etc.) We love using homestay accommodation options which offer insights into Nepalese life and support local families. In addition, the use of lodges considerably reduces the number of porters and cut down the infrastructure of trekking.

Transportation

Transport/transfer by bus, private minibus & plane.

Budget & exchange

The local currency is the Indian Rupee (INR).
Visit http://www.xe.com for the latest currency converter and exchange rates. You can withdraw Indian Rupees from in-country ATMs or change money in Delhi or Leh, credit cards are widely accepted. Please budget for drinks, tips and other personal expenses.

Tips

Tipping is an integral part of the 'tourism' culture of the country: independent of salary levels, your tip is seen as a sign of appreciation. The amount depends on your satisfaction with the services rendered and your generosity. If you are satisfied with the services of your guide, tipping is always appreciated - it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.

Vital equipment

  • A light sleeping bag
  • Water purifiers (micropur, aguatabs ...)

From head to toe:
  • A cap or sunhat
  • 1 or 2 sets of thermals: long-sleeved thermal tops and full-length long johns
  • Long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, preferably in quick-drying technical material
  • A light fleece or equivilent (plus extra warm layers if necessary)
  • A breathable wind proof, waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex...)
  • Lightweight waterproof over trousers
  • Suitable shorts
  • Walking trousers
  • A pair of high-rise walking boots - strength, good grip of the foot and ankle (high stems) and impermeability are essential. Choose shoes with non-slip soles (vibram).
  • A pair of trainers/sandels or equivilent casual shoes for cities, villages and evenings
  • Thick walking socks
  • Warm gloves, hat and scarf (it can be chilly in the mountains)

Do not forget
  • Your personal toiletries and a fast drying towel
  • Water bottle(s). Min. 2 litres, light and isothermal
  • A good pair of sunglasses (think min. category 3)
  • Sun-cream, face and lips
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • A pocket knife
  • A pair of hiking poles
  • A waterproof bag cover (or plastic bags) to protect your belongings
  • Toilet paper
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Your camera
  • Notebook or travel diary

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool.

The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax. Soft shell layers are effective against the wind.

Our advice for keeping warm
Weather conditions in the high mountains can be variable, please think carefully about what clothes you pack especially for our winter trips and remember that the layers you wear next to your skin can make the biggest difference.
We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Always carry dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves

Wear multiple layers including:
  1. A warm breathable base layer
  2. A second thermal layer
  3. Wind and water proof protective outer layers

Luggage

Your luggage must be divided into two bags:
  • A rucksack (35-40L or 45-50L) for use as a day bag. This will contain your (vital) personal belongings for the day (sweater, spare t-shirt, water bottle, picnic-lunch, sunglasses, small things ... )
  • Another larger bag containing the rest of your belongings. We advise you to bring a soft, easily transportable back like a rucksack or holdall for maximum ease.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip for emergency use only. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing any medication you may need such as inhalers, plasters, antiseptic and painkillers.

Passport

Your passport should be vaild for at least six months after the last day of your stay. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

It is your responsibility to obtain your individual visa for India. Depending on your nationality, it can be obtained in 2 different ways.

1. Electronic Visa (e-tourist visa) 48 USD (to be paid by credit card on the on-line website.)
This is a "single entry" visa valid for one month from the date of entry into the country. It can be obtained online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/and . Upon your arrival in India, you must also present to the authorities your confirmative visa receipt received by email and your return flight airline tickets. This visa must be obtained between 4 and 30 days before your date of entry into Indian territory.

2. Classic Visa: 60 € in approved centers and 85 € by post
You must pre-register on the website https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ and then move with your passport and all the documents requested to one of the many centers authorized to issue you with a visa. You can also do it by post. The deadline for obtaining this visa varies from 3 to 10 days.

Mandatory vaccines

No mandatory vaccinations are required. Recommended vaccines include Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and Influenza.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal health insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip and we advise you to visit your dentist too as untreated cavaties have an annoying habit of waking up with altitude.

Hygiene Recommendations
Water is not drinkable in Nepal. It is always possible to buy bottled water but in order to limit pollution and preserve natural areas, we strongly recommend that you drink purified water. For that, think to bring a water bottle of minimum 1.5 liters and purifying tablets (micropur, agua tabs ...). Consume only treated water or water which has been boiled for 30 minutes and then filtered.Be sure to wash your hands frequently, and definitely before each meal (anti-bacterial hand gel is recommended) and take care to disinfect any skin wounds. Avoid drinking natural drinks like pressed fruit juice and do not consume ice cream or "lassi" (a milk-based beverage) bought in the street. Meat and fish / shellfish should be well cooked before consumption.

Weather

Autumn and spring are theoretically, the best periods to visit this part of the Indian Himalayas.

In autumn (from early October to mid-December), it is generally lovely weather with clear skies but temperatures are cooler, especially at night. During the day between 1500 and 2500 m, temperatures rise up to 20 ° C (68°F). From 2500+m of altitude, daytime temperatures are pleasant, about 15°C (59°F) when sheltered from the wind but the climate is a little unstable here and temperatures can drop to -10 ° C (14°F), particularly at night.

In the spring (from March to the end of May) the mountains of Darjeeling and Sikkim are in full bloom and the rhododendrons are at their most beautiful. It is beginning to be hot with some storms at night. Temperatures vary between 10 and 25 ° C (50 - 77 °F), but can rise to more than +30 ° C (+86°F) especially in lower valleys. Between 2000 and 3000 m temperatures rarely drop below 0 ° C (32°F), but the weather can change quickly and nights can be quite cool.

The monsoon season in July to September.

Electricity

 230 - 240 V. ; 50 Hz.

Local time

 IST India Standard Time is UTC/GMT +5:30 hours. Daylight Saving Time (DST) is not observed here.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

Since the beginning, we have advocated for responsible tourism and the importance of equitable and sustainable principles. Harmonising these fundamentals ensures a fair distribution of economic benefits, improved working conditions for local teams and an increased awareness of the importance and practice of environmental protection. We hope that all of our clients will respect our philosophies and embrace these attitudes.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Buddhi

My local agent
Buddhi

  • Native to Eastern Nepal
  • A trekking guide for over 20 years
  • Specialist of Annapurnas, Everest, Ladakh and Rajasthan
  • Languages: English and French, plus some German and Chinese
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Region
India: Rajasthan, Ladakh and Sikkim & Darjeeling
Activity
Hiking & culture
Duration
12 days
Code
NEPIRAJFIT
Price
From €1,535
Level
1/5
Comfort
4/5

Strengths

  • The Majestic Taj Mahal
  • The vibrant pink city of Jaipur
  • The spiritual calm of Pushkar
  • The colours of the Thar Desert

Required level

This trip is perfect for travellers who enjoy gentle hikes and are interested in discovering historic sites and becoming immersed in Nepalese culture. Good hiking shoes and walking equipment are required.
Request a quote