Highlights of Rajasthan

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Day wise Itinerary:

Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
You will arrive at New Delhi's InternationalAirport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our office representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel.

A city of great character, of contrasts and convolutions - this is Delhi, the capital city of India. A city with antiquity dating back over 2,000 years, it is also a modern metropolis with fast cars and neon lit shopping malls. So varied are the shades of Delhi's different faces, it is difficult to grasp it in a short span of time.

Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be accorded with a Traditional Welcome. The warmth of Indian hospitality and the custom of welcoming guests are as old as time itself. As you step into the hotel, ladies in traditional local costumes greet you with garlands of flowers and perform the "aarti" ceremony. After having your forehead anointed with the traditional red "tikka", relax with a non-alcoholic welcome drink.

After the welcoming ceremony, proceed for check-in to your rooms
Overnight at the hotel

Day 02: DELHI
After buffet breakfast, you will proceed for combined sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi.

You will first visit Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; you will than drive past Red Fort- the magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Mughal Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia's largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughal respectively. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colour and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, which is the tallest stone tower in India. The Qutub Minar was started in 1199 AD by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and completed by the sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The building is 72.5 m high and has 379 steps from the bottom to the top. The Minar is tapering with the diameter of the base is 14.3 m while at the top floor it is2.7 m. The Qutub Minar is still the highest stone tower as well as one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. Then visit Humayun's tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President's residence.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 03: DELHI - AGRA
After buffet breakfast at hotel; you will be driven from Delhi to Agra (Approx. 210 kms / 4 hours). Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Agra in terms of ambiance is still associated with its Mughal period. The Mughals besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra& its neighbourhood. It has many wonderful monuments and the Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture at its best. The massive but elegant Agra Fort, the delicate artistry of Itimad-ud-daulah's tomb, the magnificent Taj and Akbar's deserted capital, Fatehpur Sikri, are each unique and outstanding. Their architectural genius can also be seen in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era.

In the afternoon you will be visiting Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. Agra Fort - the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of YamunaRiver. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.

Later proceed for sunset visit to TheTaj Mahal (closed on Fridays). Midway Tonga's "horse carriages" would be waiting for you and will drop you at the gates of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid 17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is really astounding. You will have ample time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 04: AGRA - FATEHPUR SIKRI - JAIPUR
After buffet breakfast, you will be driven from Agra to Jaipur (235 KMS / 6 hours) en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander around with its buildings in near perfect condition.

After your visit, continue your drive to Jaipur and upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.

Rajasthan's kingdoms are an enduring legacy to India's history. A land endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces ad waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. No other region in the country assembles the many paradoxes of India, as does the desert land of Rajasthan. By far it is the most colourful region in India.

Jaipur's past is never too far from hand. The city of victory, Jaipur presides over the fascinating desert state and its people: surrounded by rugged hills, each crowned by a formidable fort; and beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens dotted throughout its precincts. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal processions and splendour are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the "pink city". Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur's bazaars and its people. With its historical past, Jaipur revives legends of the ancient Rajputs. The dresses of the women and the turbans of the men add colour to this fascinating city.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 05: JAIPUR
Following buffet breakfast you will proceed to visit the capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar's most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the CityPalace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the MoatLake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area.

An elephant (alternatively by jeeps) will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room.

En-route to Amber Fort you will stop and see the `Palace of Winds', otherwise known as Hawa Mahal. It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. The cool wind blows through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city.

Afternoon, you will visit the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Jaipur's Jantar Mantar is the most famous of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in India. Jai Singh was a great admirer of progresses and research made in the fields of science and technology, but he was passionate about astronomy. There is a very interesting story behind the construction of this observatory, considered as the largest stone observatory in the world. Sawai Jai Singh sent his emissaries to all parts of the world before commencing the construction of this observatory.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 06: JAIPUR - JODHPUR
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven from Jaipur to Jodhpur 330 kms / 07 hours). Upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.

The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a wall 10km long, which was built about a century after the city was founded. From the fort you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. The old city is fascinating jungle of winding streets of great interest to wander around. Eight gates lead out from the walled city. It's one of the more interesting cities in India and those baggy-tight horse riding trousers, jodhpurs, took their name from this locale.

The Mehrangarh Fort is sprawled across a 125-meter high hill and is the most impressive and formidable fort in the fort-studded Rajasthan. On the wall adjacent to the Lahapol or "Iron Gate" are 15 handprints, the sati marks of the widows of Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843. Inside the fort, which is still run by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, there is a whole series of courtyards and palaces.

Rest of the evening is at leisure for independent activities.
Overnight at the hotel

Day 07: JODHPUR - RANAKPUR - UDAIPUR
After early breakfast you will proceed to visit the Mehrangarh Fort (citadel of the Sun) that evokes the very spirit of the Rathores, the ruling local Rajput clan. Visit its various palaces with their delicate friezes and respective museums, displaying treasures of the royal family.

North of Meherangarh Fort, and connected to it by road, Jaswant Thada is a pillared marble memorial to the popular ruler Jaswant Singh II (1878-95), who purged Jodhpur of dacoits, initiated irrigation systems and boosted the economy. The cenotaphs of members of the royal family who have died since Jaswant are close by his memorial; those who preceded him are remembered by chhatris at Mandor. This south-facing spot is also the best place from which to photograph the fort, looming above the sheer rocky Meherangarh plateau.

After the city tour you will be driven from driven from Jodhpur to Udaipur (290 kms / 7 hours) en-route visiting Ranakpur

Ranakpur Jain Temples, an exceptionally beautiful excursion through the rugged, wooded hills of Rajasthan to the Jain Temples of Ranakpur in the Aravalli Valley, to see one of the best complexes of Jain religion which is particularly noted for the grandiose scale of its architecture and the highly decorated ceilings, walls and 1444 different pillars. The priests of the temples did all the temple designing and their generations are still continuing the work.

Later continue your journey to Udaipur and upon arrival, check-in at your hotel.

Rajasthan is romantic with tales of valour and chivalry, and a history that brings to life forts and palaces and court intrigues. But Udaipur is different - an interlude for the diehard romantics. A splash of colour in colourful Rajasthan that's brighter, tinged with the tones of local legends and lores. Here are lakes that come as a surprise in sandy Rajasthan, and forested hills where wildlife still abounds. And in the lakes or by their edges are palaces straight out of fairy tales, each more beautiful than the other. There are rugged fortresses too -- Chittaurgarh and Kumbalgarh, where the history of Udaipur is told as if it were but a page from yesterday. For in Udaipur the past lives and breathes with the present.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 08: UDAIPUR
After breakfast you will proceed to visit the vast and exquisite CityPalace, a well-fortified, majestic white monument. The main entrance, a triple-arched gate named the Tripolia, was built in 1725 and is a marvel. The Suraj Gokhada, the Balcony of the Sun, where the Suryavanshi Maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in times of trouble to the people torestore their confidence, is also a fascinating sight.

Afternoon visit the Jagdish Temple, a 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is the largest and most splendid temple in Udaipur

Drive past FatehSagarLake and visit Sahelion-ki-Bari, the Garden of the Maids-of-Honor, which has numerous fountains in four pools, embellished with delicately chiseled kiosks and elephants. The garden brings to the fore the unique lifestyle of the royal ladies, who once strolled through these gardens.

Later in the afternoon, take a boat cruise on LakePichola to visit JagMandirPalace by common boat, which covers almost four acres and is noted for its marble pavilion and an imposing dome. You'll see people doing their laundry on the shores of the lake against the backdrop of the massive CityPalace and the old city.

Overnight at the hotel

Day 09: UDAIPUR - DELHI BY: DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Today you will be transferred to airport to board the flight for Delhi.
On arrival meet & assist at airport and transferred to your hotel.Afternoon you will visit Akshardham temple.
Overnight at hotel

Day 10: DEPARTURE DELHI BY: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
Today you will be transferred to InternationalAirport to the flight back home

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