The Taj Mahal and other marvels of Rajasthan
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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....
Period & budget
When to travel?
The best period for travelling is during the following months:
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.
- 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
- 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
Terms and conditions
- 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.
Changes to travel contract
Budget & exchange
- A light sleeping bag
- Water purifiers (micropur, aguatabs ...)
- 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)
- 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
- No cotton
- Always carry dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
- A warm breathable base layer
- A second thermal layer
- Wind and water proof protective outer layers
- 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.