This tour takes you to one of the most beautiful regions of India, famous for its colourful and contrasting scenery, architecture, culture and people. Explore the region’s impressive forts, majestic palaces and temples, unique desert landscapes and the magnificent colours of Rajasthan typified by the stunning “Pink City” of Jaipur.
Highlights of your tour
- Watch an unforgettable sunrise over the Taj Mahal.
- Experience a Bollywood movie in Jaipur’s most famous cinema.
- Explore the desert at sunset with a camel ride overlooking Jaisalmer.
Day 1: Delhi
Upon arrival at Indira Ghandi International Airport you will be met by a representative of our local operator and then transferred to your hotel. The remainder of day is set aside to unwind.
Day 2: Delhi – Mandawa (B)
Depart for a sightseeing tour of Delhi. Visit the 12th century Qutab Minar, gracefully hand carved for its entire height of 234ft, and the iron pillar, which has withstood the ravages of time to remain untainted by rust even after 1500 years. Visit the mausoleum of emperor Humayun, a forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture, and the imposing modern Lakshminarayan temple. Drive past the India Gate (war memorial dedicated to the lives of laid down by the Indian soldiers), the president's residence (formerly the Viceroy's Palace), parliament House and the Secretariat buildings, - an interesting blend of the Victorian and 20th century architecture.
Continue to the magnificent Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Visit Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi), then Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Drive past Chandi Chowk, once an imperial avenue of Mughal Royalty which today is the busiest commercial area of the city. Walk through Chandni Chowk to savour the ambience of an oriental bazaar. Later, drive to Mandawa.
Day 3: Mandawa – Bikaner (B)
Breakfast and sightseeing tour of Mandawa and of the Shekhawati region.
In the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan lies the beautiful small town of Mandawa, known throughout the state for its forts and havelis. The compact and busy little market town of Mandawa was settled and fortified during the 18th century by the dominant merchant families of the region. The wealthy businessmen of the village constructed many havelis and baolis with coloured painting adorning their walls. Later on, with the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Despite the time lapse and ignorance about these visual and architectural extravaganzas, their attraction did not fade. Later drive to Bikaner.
Day 4: Bikaner – Jaisalmer (B)
Today, embark on a sightseeing tour of Bikaner, located deep in the desert, on ancient caravan routes. Visit the 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque, whose entrance is flanked by two life-like effigies of elephants. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions. A line of balconies and oriel windows of varying designs lend it a graceful dignity. Later visit a camel breeding farm before driving to Jaisalmer.
Day 5: Jaisalmer (B)
This morning depart for a sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer, a magical city that shimmers like a mirage. The golden sandstone town walls and narrow streets lined with exquisitely carved buildings, through which camel carts trudge leisurely, has an extraordinarily medieval feel and an incredible atmosphere. Visit the Fort perched on its hilltop, and the Jain Temple.
This afternoon, excursion to Sam Sand Dunes, a small picturesque desert village of decorated mud thatched buildings. Visitors are attracted here by shifting sand dunes, some up to 80m high and beautiful sunsets which you will be able to observe with a camel ride in the desert.
Day 6: Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (B)
Morning drive to Jodhpur, at the edge of the Thar Desert and second largest city in Rajasthan. This five hundred year old settlement was the headquarters of The Rathore Rajputs' celebrations for their tales of daring. Jodhpur is known for its impressive fortified bastions, especially those of Mehrangarh which have been the witness of many battles and were associated closely with the history of the region. The years of peace that followed resulted in the building of palaces that were laid on open grounds and spread out in an elaborate European manner.
Visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort built by Rao Jodha in 1459 on a sandstone hill. From the top of the fort one can get a bird’s eye view of the old city. You will notice the predominance of blue houses referred to as Brahmin houses - the colour being associated with the high caste. Proceed to the Jaswant Thada, an imposing marble cenotaph built in 1899 for Maharajah Jaswant Singh II, and smaller memorials to other Maharajahs of Jodhpur. Finish your sightseeing tour with a short walk through the local and vibrant bazaar of Jodhpur.
Day 7: Jodhpur - Ranakpur (B)
Morning drive to Ranakpur. Visit the wonderful 3 temples of the Jain sect dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The unforgettable main Temple dedicated to Adinatha the first Tirthankar (1439) built in marble took 65 years to complete. It is one of the five holy Jain pilgrimage centres and has one of the best temple complexes. Overnight in Ranakpur.
Day 8: Ranakpur – Eklinji – Nadga – Udaipur (B)
Drive to Udaipur. En route, visit Eklinji and Nadga Temples dating back to the 6th century. Arrive in Udaipur.
Udaipur lies in the Girwa valley amidst the Aravali hills of south Rajasthan. It is considered a romantic city - with its lakes, gardens, temples and palaces - an Oasis in the Thar desert. The old city is a traditionally planned fortified walled city, a maze of narrow winding lanes flanked by houses with doorways decorated with Mewar folk art, windows with stained glass or jail screens, massive havelis with large inner courtyards and shops. Visit the City Palace, once the home of Mewar’s rulers, the Palace is today largely a museum run by the Maharana Mewar Foundation. It consists of four major and several minor palaces forming a single breathtaking facade overlooking the Pichola lake. Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 9: Udaipur – Deogarh (B)
This afternoon, drive to Deogarh. Stop en route to visit a traditional village. Arrive in Deogarh, a pleasant, little frequented town. The narrow bazaar road, with good textiles and silver jewellery shops, winds its way up to the top of the hill where you find the beautifully renovated 17th century Deogarh Mahal Palace, one of India’s best Heritage Hotels. There is much to see within the huge palace itself: murals illustrating the fine local school of miniature painting, a stunning swimming pool, beautifully decorated rooms and lounges. The royal family runs the hotel.
Day 10: Deogarh – Jaipur (B)
Morning drive to Jaipur. The “Pink City” was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II. It is a planned city built with ancient Hindu rules as the colonial capital of a richly colourful state. It was made attractive with the pink wash – a traditional colour of welcome in 1853 in honour of the visit of Prince Albert. Afternoon at leisure to explore the colourful markets of Jaipur.
Day 11: Jaipur (B)
After breakfast, depart for the visit of Amber Fort. En route, make a stop at the palace of winds the Hawa Mahal. A five storied building with 25cm thick facade from the 18th century having 953 windows and niches so that ladies of royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to the people. Proceed to the Amber Fort, situated 11 km north of Jaipur, the ancient capital of the Rajputs until 1037.
This afternoon, visit the City Palace which occupies the centre of Jaipur. It now houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles and costumes, armoury, manuscripts, paintings etc. Also visit Jantar Mantar observatory built by king astrologer Jai Singh II. The instruments are built of stone with marble facing on the important plains for measuring the harmony of the heavens. Each instrument serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading. After dinner take in a Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir cinema.
Day 12: Jaipur – Agra (B)
Morning drive to Agra en route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. This fascinating site was built by Emperor Akber in 1569 to commemorate the birth of his son, but abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the 'Ghost City' including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendours of the Mughal empire at the height of its power. Later, continue to Agra.
Day 13: Agra – Sikandra – Delhi (B)
At sunrise, visit the Taj Mahal, a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife. Taj Mahal means "Crown Palace" and is in fact the most well-preserved and architecturally beautiful tomb in the world. It is best described by the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, as "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones." It is a celebration of woman built in marble and that’s the way to appreciate it.
Later, visit the Agra fort, built alongside the Yamuna river stretching almost 2.5 km. The fort’s colossal double walls rise 20 m in height and measure 2.5 km in circumference. The magnificent towers, bastions and ramparts and majestic gateways symbolised the confidence and power of the third Mughal emperor.
Later leave for Delhi visiting en route Sikandra, “The Tomb of Akbar The Great”. (B)
Day 14: Delhi (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- Private air-conditioned transport with English speaking driver
- Accommodation in selected hotel category on a share twin basis
- Daily buffet breakfast at hotels of stay
- Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
- Entrance fee at monuments as listed in itinerary
- Camel ride in Jaisalmer
- Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Local Tourism Dirham tax (for Dubai only)
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.