This adventure presents a glimpse into India’s royal past and its forward-looking present. Rajasthan’s diverse landscape is comprised of the oldest mountain range in the world, the Thor Desert and the glassy lakes of Jodhpur, which only adds to the spender of this locale. Make your way through each destination as you visit royal palaces, ornate temples, and ancient mosques, each stunning site more impressive than the last. Watching the sun set over the Taj Mahal or experiencing the thrill of a rickshaw ride through a bustling Delhi marketplace are the type of pinch-moments on this adventure that you’ll always remember. The people, wilderness, and monuments are what make Rajasthan so compelling.
Days 1 & 2: The Lodhi, New Delhi, India
After a warm greeting at the airport, relax post-flight in your Lodhi Room with Pool. The next morning, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast then take a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, once the grandest market in India. In Chandni Chowk, visit the Jama Masjid, the Friday congregational mosque, known as the largest and most glorious mosque in India. The last architectural extravaganza of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, the mosque was built 1656 AD. Following lunch, drive past Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate and the Old Secretariat to visit the Qutub Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret. Humayun’s Tomb, the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent, is located in Nizamuddin East. The complex was declared a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1993.
Day 3: Oberoi Amervilas, Agra, India
Begin the day with an exciting 3-hour journey to Agra. The city is famous for handicrafts products such as inlaid marble, carpets, jewelry, saris and embroidery work. You’ll be chauffeured to the red sandstone Agra Fort for a guided tour of notable buildings including the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas, the Mirrored Palace, and Musamman Burj. Relax after lunch in your architecturally inspired hotel, just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal. Accommodations are in a Premier Room with a balcony. In late afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of Taj Mahal by sunset.
Days 4 & 5: Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
After breakfast, your adventure begins. A 5-hour car journey includes a quick stop at the ancient abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. Upon arrival at Jaipur, check into your amazing hotel, once home to princes and emperors. Accommodation is in a Palace Room. Morning brings a visit to the stunning Amber Fort built all in white marble and red sandstone. Take a brief drive to Dera Amer to enjoy lunch and an elephant ride. In the afternoon, visit City Palace, Observatory Tower and Hawa Mahal. The City Palace, a wonderful combination of Mughal and Rajput forms of architecture, is now a museum housing miniature paintings, manuscripts, Mughal carpets, musical instruments, royal costumes and weapons, giving invaluable insight into Jaipur’s royal past.
Days 6 & 7: Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, India
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic 6-hour drive to Jodhpur, with an elegant picnic lunch along the way. A dazzling blaze of blue on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is dominated by the imposing fortress that towers above the city on a sandstone ridge.
Upon arrival at Jodhpur, check in at the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the world, it is set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens. Part museum, part royal residence and part hotel, the Umaid Bhawan Palace, with its ornate, art deco design, offers fascinating insight into the lives of the royals, with visitors even given the possibility of an enticing glimpse of the current maharaja, who still maintains a home within the palace complex. Spend 2 nights at Umaid Bhawan Palace with accommodation in a Palace Room.
The last morning after a delicious breakfast, set off to the Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada and the Spice Market. Encircled within the massive city walls, the majestic Mehrangarh Fort keeps watch over a maze of rooftops from its perch on a rocky mountaintop. Bathed in yellow light at night, this imposing stronghold has the reputation of being the best maintained fort in Rajasthan, and the palace complex, with its network of courtyards, is well worth exploring. Sprawled in the shadow of the mountaintop fort, the Blue City also boasts the Jaswant Thada, a beautiful marble crematorium constructed for the maharajahs in the nineteenth century.
Days 8 & 9: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
This morning your 4-hour drive takes you into the Aravalli Hills, the oldest mountain range in the world. The scenery along the way is superb with many vignettes of Rajasthani rural life. Among the sights are colorful villages, farms where an ancient system of irrigation using young bulls and a Persian wheel is still in practice, outdoor schools, and the vibrant people who add color to the countryside. There are endless opportunities for photography. This is an opportunity to see life in India outside the cities and the towns. The White Marble Temples at Ranakpur are surrounded by tangled forests with monkeys abounding in the courtyard. Ranakpur is one of the 5 important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. Noted for its grand scale and elaborate ornamentation the temple has 1,144 pillars each distinct in design, carved ceilings, and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints.
Afterward, enjoy an outstanding lunch at Kings Abode Resort, before continuing on to Udaipur. Delicate, feminine and elegant, Udaipur is known by many names – City of Sunrise, Jewel of Mewar and City of Lakes. Undoubtedly one of India’s most romantic cities, it nestles between the glassy waters of its famous lakes and the ancient Aravalli Hills. Although it is one of Rajasthan’s largest cities, modern Udaipur manages to retain a charming small town vibe.
Upon arrival, check in to the spectacular Taj Lake Palace. Located in the middle of Lake Pichola is a dream of white marble and mosaic glistening in the moonlight, very reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Accommodation is in Palace Room. If you would like a tailor-made suit in India, this is the place. Call the royal family tailor and he can deliver a suit within 24 hours.
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the City Palace, home to the maharajas of Udaipur. A pearl of marble and vibrant mosaics, it is marvelous example of the attention to detail and the exemplary workmanship of the Rajasthani artisans. Visit the crystal gallery, which has an extraordinary collection of objects, including a crystal bedroom set. Then admire the Jagdish Temple and Sahelion Ki Bari. Later drive to Eklingji, located 45 minutes to the north. It is a complex of 108 ancient temples, carved of sandstone and marble.
In the evening, enjoy a boating tour of Lake Pichola, which is fringed with temples and ghats (steps). In the centre of the lake is Jag Mandir Island, which commands magnificent views of the City Palace. The palace and pavilion are built of yellow sandstone inlaid with marble.
Day 10: Trident, New Delhi, India
Today you will be chauffeured to Udaipur Airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, check in to the award-winning Trident. Set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards, reflection pools and fountains, the hotel is located in the central business district of Gurgaon, a part of the New Delhi National Capital Region. It has been voted “Asia’s Leading Hotel” and “India’s Leading Hotel.” Don’t miss a dip in the spectacular pool. Rooms are held for day use until 11:00 p.m. In the evening, you will be chauffeured to Delhi International Airport, and connect with flights to your onward destination.