Sep 292013
 
 5 nights /6 days

  • Taj Mahal

    Taj Mahal

  • Taj Mahal from Red Fort

    Taj Mahal from Red Fort

  • Agra Fort - Diwan i am Hall of public audience

    Agra Fort - Diwan i am Hall of public audience

  • Fatehput Sikiri - Buland darwaza gate

    Fatehput Sikiri - Buland darwaza gate

  • Fatehpur Sikri - Diwan  i khas

    Fatehpur Sikri - Diwan i khas

  • Fatehpur Sikri

    Fatehpur Sikri

  • Taj Mahal

    Taj Mahal

  • Qutub Minar - Delhi

    Qutub Minar - Delhi

  • Jama Masjid - Mosque in Delhi

    Jama Masjid - Mosque in Delhi

  • Chandni Chowk - Old Delhi

    Chandni Chowk - Old Delhi

  • Iron Pillar

    Iron Pillar

  • Amber fort

    Amber fort

  • Hawa Mahal

    Hawa Mahal

  • Elephant Polo

    Elephant Polo

  • Amer fort lake gardens

    Amer fort lake gardens

  • Snake charmer

    Snake charmer

The “Golden Triangle” classically refers to the three “jewels in the northern Indian crown” of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

The tour starts in Delhi where you will be able to spend a short time seeing the contrasting sites of the New and Old cities before travelling to Agra. Here you will see the indescribable Taj Mahal and the fascinating deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

This tour concludes in Rajasthan with the vibrant “Pink City” of Jaipur: a city full of captivating ancient palaces and forts, with most of them boasting stunning views and elaborate architecture.

Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI
799px-Humayun's_Tomb_from_the_entrance,_DelhiOn arrival at Delhi airport you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel.
Day 02: DELHI
delhiToday combined sightseeing of New & Old Delhi. In New 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 and not rusted 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. Sightseeing of Old Delhi takes you to the Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi), Jama Masjid, – The largest mosque in India. Drive past ChandiChowk, once an imperial avenue of Mughal Royalty which today is the busiest commercial area of the city. Take a  Rickshaw Ride through ChandniChowk to savour the ambience of an oriental bazaar.
Day 03: DELHI – AGRA
taj-mahalAfter breakfast drive to Agra (210 kms / 4:30 hrs).
On arrival check-in at hotel for 1 night.
Afternoon visit the Agra Fort. In Fort visit Diwan-E-Am (House of Commons), mosques within Fort and royal pavilions like Macchi Bhavan, Shah Jahani Mahal & others. Several of the buildings are made of pure marble with beautiful carvings. To cool off the rooms, the walls were hollow and filled with running water. The balconies of these pavilions give clear view of Taj Mahal where you will end the day with an evening tour. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘ Love Poem in Marble’. (Friday closed).
Day 04: AGRA – FATEHPURSIKRI – JAIPUR
FatehpurAfter breakfast leave Agra for Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. (265 kms / 5:30 hrs drive)
Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital but the city was fully occupied for only 14 years and slowly became deserted due to a lack 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 splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.
After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at your hotel for 2 nights.
Day 05: JAIPUR
p1240635Morning excursion to Amer fort. Amer is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride all the way up to the Fort entrance. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal – a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. En route to Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.
p1240700Afternoon sightseeing tour of city visiting Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion Known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers the royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. Later visit the Jantar Manta Which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world Situated near the gate of the city palace; the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Day 6: JAIPUR - DELHI
Morning: transfer to Delhi airport (165 miles & 6 hrs drive) to board the return / onward flight.

 

Aug 292013
 

For most of the year, Pushkar is a sleepy little holy town that attracts a lot of backpackers and hippie types. Pushkar really comes alive for a couple of weeks in October/November, when the Pushkar Camel Fair comes to town. It’s a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival. Pushkar is worth a visit at any time of year though if you want to chill out for a few days in-between touring Rajasthan.

  • Camel fair

    Camel fair

  • Pushkar Holy Ghats

    Pushkar Holy Ghats

  • Pushkar Holy Ghats

    Pushkar Holy Ghats

  • Brahm temple

    Brahm temple

  • Pushkar Holy Ghats

    Pushkar Holy Ghats

  • Brahma temple

    Brahma temple

  • Pushkar Holy Ghats

    Pushkar Holy Ghats

  • Camel festival

    Camel festival

  • Pushkar lake

    Pushkar lake

Things to see

An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India’s state of Rajasthan, for the annual Pushkar Fair. The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, held in Pushkar around the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika. The fair has now also become a major tourist attraction. The fair normally takes place in November, depending on the cycle of the moon. The camel action takes place early in the festival, after which time the focus shifts to heightened religious celebrations. In 2013, the dates for the Pushkar Fair are November 9-17. Camel trading and other activities will start from November 9 and will wind up by November 12. Be sure to come early to see the fair in full swing!

For five days, the camels are dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, and traded. A huge carnival is held, with an array of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd. Pilgrims come to this festival to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar’s lake and be absolved of their sins. The two days around the full moon are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year for bathing in the lake. Those who bathe on the day of the full moon are said to receive special blessings. During fair time, the sand dunes appear infested with camels as far as the eyes can see and the population of Pushkar swells to over 200,000 people, with an inflow of pilgrims, camel traders, and tourists. The highlight is definitely the camel races, although the comical beauty contests featuring elaborately adorned and shaved camels are also amusing. For something extra special, it is possible to witness the spectacle of the camel fair from above, in a hot air balloon for around £300 per person.

Pushkar Lake

The Pushkar Lake is said to have been created from the petal fallen from Brahma’s Lotus when he destroyed the demon Vajra Nabha. It has to be said that the lake is no less than a miracle within the dry and arid desert. The lake and its numerous ghats are a place of hectic activities when the pilgrims, eager to wash away their sins, crowd them for a holy dip. The waters are believed to cure various ailments and have also been proved to contain certain chemicals that aid skin enrichment. The lake is surrounded by 52 ghats and over 350 temples.

Aptaeshwar Temple

There are three temples at Pushkar that are regarded as the most deep-rooted and sacred. The Aptaeshwar, Varaha and the Brahma temple All three trace their existence right upto the 10th century AD. The Apteshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Mahadev (Shiva). This is one of the temples that was destroyed by Aurangazeb and resurrected later. The Aptaeshwar Temple is actually an underground shrine. This temple, believed to have gone underground / sunk over a period of time, appears to have been crafted out of mother’s womb has a beautiful Shiv Ling (Lord Shiva’s Genital) installed in the main hall.
Brahma’s Temple

The only Brahma temple in the world is present at Pushkar. Though the Lord has a temple, he himself is not worshipped. The legend goes that Lord Brahma, desperate to perform a Holy Yajnya (Fire-Worship) at Pushkar decided to marry a local girl since wife Savitri was not ready to come to Mrutyulok (Earth). However, Savitri decided to check in on the erring husband and found him sitting alongside his new bride. Enraged Savitri cursed Brahma that he would loose the right to be worshipped anywhere else other than Pushkar and hence the only temple dedicated to this Lord of the Lords. The temple was magnificently rebuilt in 1809.

Aug 262013
 

Jaisalmer was originally founded in the 12th century as a strategic commercial centre on the caravan trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia. By the 16th century wealthy traders built many palaces and havelis made of the local golden-yellow sandstone. These can be seen clustered around the magnificent fort.

  • Barabagh (Big Garden), Jaisalmer

    Barabagh (Big Garden), Jaisalmer

  • Interior Sculpture in Jain Temple, Jaisalmer Fort

    Interior Sculpture in Jain Temple, Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort

    Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort

    Jaisalmer Fort

  • View of the Impressive Jaisalmer Fort

    View of the Impressive Jaisalmer Fort

  • Ladies inside Jaisalmer Fort

    Ladies inside Jaisalmer Fort

  • Jaisalmer Fort & Town

    Jaisalmer Fort & Town

  • Jaisalmer

    Jaisalmer

  • View of Jaisalmer Fort & Town

    View of Jaisalmer Fort & Town

  • Haveli in Jaisalmer

    Haveli in Jaisalmer

  • Haveli in Jaisalmer

    Haveli in Jaisalmer

Things to see

Jaisalmer Fort

jaisalmerJaisalmer fort rises like a fantastic mirage out of the sands of the Thar desert. It dates back to 1156 and is placed on the 80 m high Trikuta hill. In medieval times Jaisalmer’s entire population could be protected within its walls. Even now, thousands live there amoungst the Royal Palaces, shops, mansions and Jain temples.The fort, one of the largest in the world, has been the scene of many battles. The ramparts still have huge cannonballs perched ready to be toppled onto invaders. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets.The seven Jain temples are exquisitely carved, and in the basement of one, is a library of Jain palm-leaf manuscripts dating back to the 11th century. There are many other attractions within the walls including the Royal Palace complex which overlooks the impressive Dussehra Chowk, an open plaza. Another palace, Moti Mahal, has many florally pained and carved doors.


Jaisalmer Haveli

patwon-ki-haveli-jaisalmer-india1152_13021045359-tpfil02aw-22965These mansions dominate the town’s labyrinthine lanes. These grand houses were built raised on a plinth to prevent desert sand being blown through the rooms; in fact the ground floor had no living quarters at all. These haveli’s exhibit golden stone facades so finely carved that they resemble lacework. There are latticed stone screens with a wide variety of patterns keeping out the sun but allowing fresh air in.

Places to Stay

The Serai

Luxury tented suiteThis outrageously luxurious camp is situated outside Jaisalmer, in desert scrubland where shepherds and villagers wander. It takes accommodation in the area to a new high and the 21 huge tents are magnificently decorated in desert colours. The finest linen, hand made furniture, Jaisalmer stone floors and beds, and local artefacts all blend to create an atmosphere which is very easy on the eye. With a large sitting area inside and outside, and immaculate, roomy bathrooms, the tents are amongst the largest and finest in all India .


Aug 262013
 

Along with Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, Bikaner was one of the three great desert kingdoms of Rajasthan and, like them,  prospered due to its strategic location on the overland trade route to China. Bikaner has an old walled town where camels saunter past colourful stalls. It has many temples and the magnificent Junagarh fort – the most ornately decorated fort in Rajesthan.

 

  • Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

    Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

  • Bikaner

    Bikaner

  • Junagarth Fort, Bikaner

    Junagarth Fort, Bikaner

  • Junagarth Fort, Bikaner

    Junagarth Fort, Bikaner

  • Bikaner

    Bikaner

  • Bikaner

    Bikaner

Things to see

Junagarh Fort

This fort is protected by a 986 m long sandstone wall with and a moat. This, together with its location in the Thar desert, meant that it was never invaded which explains its excellent state of preservation.Within the forts austere stone walls there are no less than 37 elaborately decorated palaces, temples and pavilions built by successive rules over the centuries. Many of the palaces are lavishly decorated in a wide range of styles.


Old Walled City

In the old city, entered through Kote gate, is the bazaar, where you can find excellent local handicrafts such as rugs and carpets, camel hide goods and beautiful miniature paintings made using translucent and opaque vegetable and mineral watercolours. You can also buy spicy snacks and sweets made from camels milk.Within the city walls are a number of ornate Havelis (mansion houses) and two Jain temples dating from the early 16th century. Both have ornate carvings and are embellished with frescos, mirror work, and gold leaf scrollwork inside.

 

Jun 022013
 
 10 nights /11 days

  • Walled Gateway, Jaipur

    Walled Gateway, Jaipur

  • Elephant Polo, Jaipur

    Elephant Polo, Jaipur

  • Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

    Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

  • Lake Gardens, Amer Fort, Jaipur

    Lake Gardens, Amer Fort, Jaipur

  • Ranakpur Jain Temple

    Ranakpur Jain Temple

  • Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

    Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

  • Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

    Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort & Bazaar, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort & Bazaar, Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Taj Mahal, Agra

    Taj Mahal, Agra

  • Marble Detail, Agra Fort

    Marble Detail, Agra Fort

  • Udiapur

    Udiapur

  • Jodhpur - the Blue City

    Jodhpur - the Blue City

  • Intricate Stone Carving

    Intricate Stone Carving

  • Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

    Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

  • Delhi Fort

    Delhi Fort

This classic tour includes the vibrant “Pink City” of Jaipur: a city full of captivating ancient palaces and forts, with most of them boasting stunning views and elaborate architecture. You will visit Jodhpur, affectionately known as the “Blue City” for its blue painted buildings; the fascinating, walled old part of the city is presided over by the looming Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. Here you can also spend time with fascinating local desert tribes people. The tour includes Udaipur an enchanting place full of old mansions, beautiful gardens, intricate temples, and grand palaces overlooking expansive shimmering lakes. Between Jodhpur and Udaipur you will also visit the impressive Jain temple at Ranakpur.

The tour starts in Delhi where you will be able to spend a short time seeing the contrasting sites of the New and Old cities before travelling to Agra. Here you will see the indescribable Taj Mahal and the facinating deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Day 01:ARRIVE DELHI 
799px-Humayun's_Tomb_from_the_entrance,_DelhiArrive Delhi by flight. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay
Day 02: DELHI
695px-Fatehput_Sikiri_Buland_Darwaza_gate_2010Today combined sightseeing of New & Old Delhi. In New 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 and not rusted 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. Sightseeing of Old Delhi takes you to the Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi), Jama Masjid, - 
the largest mosque in India. Drive past ChandiChowk, once an imperial avenue of Mughal Royalty which today is the busiest commercial area of the city. Take a Rickshaw Ride through ChandniChowk to savour the ambience of an oriental bazaar. Overnight stay
Day 03: DELHI – AGRA
taj-mahalAfter breakfast leave Delhi for Agra by car (5 hrs drive approx.). Upon arrival check in at you hotel. Afternoon city tour: Visit Agra Fort – behind its forbidding red sandstone battlements lie palaces that tell the story of the Moghul Empire. The most impressive part of the Fort are the Diwan-e-Am, where the Emperor sat on his throne to dispense to his subjects, and the Diwan-e-Khas where he received foreign dignitaries. Later visit the Taj Mahal – the greatest love story ever told. On the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, in wild extravagance, Shahjehan built her this memorial.  20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone.  Stay at the Taj till sunset to enjoy the beauty of this marble wonder in the golden colors of melting sun.Overnight stay
Day 04:  AGRA – FATEHPURSIKRI – JAIPUR
p1240769
After breakfast leave Agra for Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. (265 kms / 5:30 hrs drive)
Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital but the city was fully occupied for only 14 years and slowly became deserted due to a lack 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 splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.
After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at your hotel for 2 nights. Overnight stay
Day 05: JAIPUR
p1240635Morning After breakfast excursion to Amber fort. Amber is a classic, romantic RajasthaniFortPalace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal – a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. En route to Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.
p1240700Afternoon sightseeing tour of city visiting Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion Known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers the royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. Later visit the Jantar Manta Which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world Situated near the gate of the city palace; the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Overnight stay.
Day 06: JAIPUR – JODHPUR
jodhpurMorning After breakfast drive to Jodhpur (07 hours drive approx.). On arrival check in at your hotel.
Overnight stay.
Day 07: JODHPUR
p1240155This morning sightseeing of Jodhpur visiting the 5-km long Mehrangarh Fort situated on a 125-mt high hill. This is one of the most impressive and formidable structures in Rajasthan. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with meticulously carved panels, latticed windows or “Jarokhas” with evocative names, noteworthy for the splendour and glamour of a bygone era. Later visit the Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II.
BishnoisAfternoon enjoy a village Jeep safari in the Bishnoi villages - steeped in history: this 450 year old Bishnoi tribe has a distinctive way of life.  They are environmentalists in the fundamental sense, preserving all wildlife being central to their way of life. In villages of other tribes one can witness the opium ceremony – a ritual to which guests are traditionally welcomed. As the shadows lengthen, the sun casts a golden glow on the sands: you may encounter the agile black buck, wild camels and flights of rare birds.  The safari showcases the best of the land, it is a complete cultural experience, which encompasses all that this region has to offer. From the warm and hospitable people, to the various customs and ceremonies and the abundant wildlife, guests have the rare privilege of being welcomed into people’s homes and interacting with them. Overnight stay.
Day 08: JODHPUR – RANAKPUR – UDAIPUR
ranakpur-jain-temple-3Morning drive to the lake city of Udaipur, enroute visiting Jain temple of Ranakpur (06 hrs. drive approx) Ranakpur- The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India.  90 Kms north of Udaipur.  It lies in a remote valley of the Aravali range and is an important destination for Jains and tourists alike. Later continue drive to Udaipur and on arrival check in to your hotel.
Overnight stay
Day 09: UDAIPUR
p1240042Morning city tour visiting City Palace, built in 1725, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal – studded with glittering Belgian mirrors, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna all of which are ornately decorated. Later visit the Jagdish Temple. This temple built in 1651 is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver in the Hindu Trinity of Gods.  Also visit the Sahelion Ki Bari gardens and fountains.  Later drive around the Fatehsagar Lake. Late afternoon take a boat ride on Lake Pichola. The lake is 4-Km long and 3-Km wide, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace Jag Niwas which is beautifully set in the lake. (Boat Ride is subject to availability of water in lake).
Overnight stay
Day 10:  UDAIPUR – DELHI
p1230964Evening: transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight for Delhi.
9W  2630       Udaipur/Delhi            1630/1815hrs Arrive Delhi and transfer to your Hotel Leela Kempinski Gurgaon (near Delhi airport) Overnight stay
Day 11: LEAVE DELHI
On time transfer to DelhiAirport to board flight for onward destinationCheck in 1400 Hrs /Check out time – 12 noon
Jun 022013
 
 12 nights /13 days

  • Taj Mahal, Agra

    Taj Mahal, Agra

  • Jaisalmer

    Jaisalmer

  • Agra Fort Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience)

    Agra Fort Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience)

  • Fatapur Sikri

    Fatapur Sikri

  • Bikaner

    Bikaner

  • Delhi Fort

    Delhi Fort

  • Udaipur

    Udaipur

  • Jaisalmer

    Jaisalmer

  • Jaisalmer Fort

    Jaisalmer Fort

  • Taj Mahal, Agra

    Taj Mahal, Agra

  • Mihirgarh Hotel, near Jodhpur

    Mihirgarh Hotel, near Jodhpur

  • Ranakpur - Jain Temple

    Ranakpur - Jain Temple

  • Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

    Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

The tour starts in Delhi where you will be able to spend a short time seeing the contrasting sites of the New and Old cities before travelling to Agra. Here you will see the indescribable Taj Mahal and the facinating deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

The three ancient Thar desert cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bikaner are included in this tour.  Jaisalmer, with its mesmerizing ancient fort, built in 1156, perched high on a pedestal  that rises magically from the sand dunes. You will visit Jodhpur, affectionately known as the “Blue City” for its blue painted buildings; the fascinating, walled old part of the city is presided over by the looming Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India. Here you can also spend time with fascinating local desert tribes people. Bikaner has an old walled town where camels saunter past colourful stalls. It has many temples and the magnificent Junagarh fort – the most ornately decorated fort in Rajesthan.

This tour also includes the vibrant “Pink City” of Jaipur: a city full of captivating ancient palaces and forts, with most of them boasting stunning views and elaborate architecture.  The final city visited is Udaipur, an enchanting place full of old mansions, beautiful gardens, intricate temples, and grand palaces overlooking expansive shimmering lakes. Between Jodhpur and Udaipur you will also visit the impressive Jain temple at Ranakpur.

Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI
799px-Humayun's_Tomb_from_the_entrance,_DelhiArrive Delhi by flight. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel.
Overnight stay.
Day 02: DELHI
delhiToday combined sightseeing of New & Old Delhi. In New 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 and not rusted 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. Sightseeing of Old Delhi takes you to the Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi), Jama Masjid, – The largest mosque in India. Drive past ChandiChowk, once an imperial avenue of Mughal Royalty which today is the busiest commercial area of the city. Take a Rickshaw Ride through ChandniChowk to savour the ambience of an oriental bazaar. Overnight stay.
Day 03: DELHI – AGRA
taj-mahalAfter breakfast drive to Agra (210 kms / 4:30 hrs).
On arrival check-in at hotel for 1 night.
Afternoon visit the Agra Fort. In Fort visit Diwan-E-Am (House of Commons), mosques within Fort and royal pavilions like Macchi Bhavan, Shah Jahani Mahal & others. Several of the buildings are made of pure marble with beautiful carvings. To cool off the rooms, the walls were hollow and filled with running water. The balconies of these pavilions give clear view of Taj Mahal where you will end the day with an evening tour. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘ Love Poem in Marble’. (Friday closed).   Overnight stay.
Day 04: AGRA – FATEHPURSIKRI – JAIPUR
FatehpurAfter breakfast leave Agra for Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. (265 kms / 5:30 hrs drive)
Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital but the city was fully occupied for only 14 years and slowly became deserted due to a lack 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 splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.
After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at your hotel for 2 nights. Overnight stay
Day 05: JAIPUR
p1240635Morning excursion to Amer fort. Amer is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride all the way up to the Fort entrance. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal – a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. En route to Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.
p1240700Afternoon sightseeing tour of city visiting Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion Known as Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers the royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. Later visit the Jantar Manta Which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world Situated near the gate of the city palace; the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Overnight stay.
Day 06: JAIPUR – BIKANER
Junagarh FortAfter breakfast drive to Bikaner (5 ½ hrs drive approx). On arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon: City sightseeing of Bikaner. The city is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Joramal temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. Bikaner Sightseeing – inc. Junagadh, Lal Garh, & Karni Mata. Overnight stay.
Day 07: BIKANER – JAISALMER
jaisalmer-fort-india-4Morning departure for Jaisalmer (7 hours drive approx). On arrival, check in at hotel. Overnight stay.
Day 08: JAISALMER
world_asia_jaisalmer___rajasthan___india_008958_Morning sightseeing of Jaisalmer, built in burnished sandstone is an intricately molded wonderland.  The tour takes you through this city of gilded magic. See the Citadel, the fort built by Rawal Jaisal where a fourth of the population lives. Also visit Jain temples of the 12th to 15th centuries Patwon ki Haveli, a five-story mansion with carved pillars and murals; Salim Singh and Nathmalji ki Haveli. Sightseeing in Jaisalmer – inc. Fort, havelis, Lodurva Jain temple, Gadisar. Lake Evening – Camel safari to sand dunes and camp fire/dinner is included. Late afternoon excursion to the Sam sand dunes, 40 Kms from Jaisalmer, known for its camel rides, shifting sand dunes and beautiful sunsets.  Enjoy Camel Ride on the Sand Dunes. Overnight stay.
Day 09: JAISALMER – JODHPUR
p1240176After breakfast drive to Jodhpur (7 hours drive approx.). On arrival check in at hotel. Overnight stay
Day 10: JODHPUR
p1240155This morning sightseeing of Jodhpur visiting the 5-km long Mehrangarh Fort situated on a 125-mt high hill. This is one of the most impressive and formidable structures in Rajasthan. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with meticulously carved panels, latticed windows or “Jarokhas” with evocative names, noteworthy for the splendour and glamour of a bygone era. Later visit the Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II.
BishnoisAfternoon enjoy a village Jeep safari in the Bishnoi villages - steeped in history: this 450 year old Bishnoi tribe has a distinctive way of life.  They are environmentalists in the fundamental sense, preserving all wildlife being central to their way of life. In villages of other tribes one can witness the opium ceremony – a ritual to which guests are traditionally welcomed. As the shadows lengthen, the sun casts a golden glow on the sands: you may encounter the agile black buck, wild camels and flights of rare birds.  The safari showcases the best of the land, it is a complete cultural experience, which encompasses all that this region has to offer. From the warm and hospitable people, to the various customs and ceremonies and the abundant wildlife, guests have the rare privilege of being welcomed into people’s homes and interacting with them. Overnight stay.
Day 11: JODHPUR – RANAKPUR – UDAIPUR
jain-temple-ranakpur40Morning drive tothe lake city of  Udaipur enroute visiting Jain temple of Ranakpur (06 hrs. drive approx). Ranakpur- The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India.  90 Kms north of Udaipur.  It lies in a remote valley of the Aravali range and is an important destination for Jains and tourists alike. Later continue drive to Udaipur and on arrival check in at hotel.Overnight stay.
Day 12: UDAIPUR
p1240042Morning city tour visiting City Palace, built in 1725, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal – studded with glittering Belgian mirrors, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna all of which are ornately decorated. Later visit the JagdishTemple built in 1651 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver in the Hindu Trinity of Gods.  Also visit the Sahelion Ki Bari gardens and fountains. Later drive around the Fatehsagar Lake. Late afternoon boat ride on Lake Pichola. The lake is 4-Km long and 3-Km wide, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace Jag Niwas which is beautifully set in the lake (Boat Ride is subject to availability of water in lake) 
Overnight stay.
Day 13: UDAIPUR / MUMBAI
Morning: transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight for Mumbai.
9W 2502    Udaipur/Mumbai   0850/1035hrs
Arrive Mumbai airport and transfer to your international flight home.
Jun 022013
 
12 nights /13 days

  • Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

    Devi Garh Hotel, Udaipur

  • Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

    Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur

  • Udiapur

    Udiapur

  • Ranakpur Jain Temple

    Ranakpur Jain Temple

  • Mihir Garh Hotel, near Jodhpur

    Mihir Garh Hotel, near Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Cornflower Blue Houses of Jodhpur

    Cornflower Blue Houses of Jodhpur

  • Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, Jodhpur

    Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, Jodhpur

  • Lakshman Sagar Hotel, near Jodhpur

    Lakshman Sagar Hotel, near Jodhpur

  • Elephant Polo near Jaipur

    Elephant Polo near Jaipur

  • Amer Fort, Jaipur

    Amer Fort, Jaipur

  • Jaipur - the Pink City

    Jaipur - the Pink City

  • Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

    Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra

  • Taj Mahal, Agra

    Taj Mahal, Agra

  • Marble Detail at Taj Mahal

    Marble Detail at Taj Mahal

  • Iron Pillar, Qutub Minar Complex, Delhi

    Iron Pillar, Qutub Minar Complex, Delhi

  • Humayun\'s Tomb, Delhi

    Humayun\'s Tomb, Delhi

  • Raj Ghat (Ghandi\'s Memorial), Delhi

    Raj Ghat (Ghandi\'s Memorial), Delhi

This tour is about staying is some wonderfully different hotels (hidden jewels) as much as the fabulous places you will visit. The hotels are Devi Garh fort, Lakshman Sagar and Mihir Garh.

Clinging to the Aravalli hillside, Devi Garh fort emerges out of the desert valley imperiously: its solid marble exterior as impressive as it is imposing. The interior, however, belies its façade; here a modern, minimalist style fuses seamlessly with traditional Rajasthani, with expert attention to design and detail this hotel is seriously stylish.

Lakshman Sagar could be the quirkiest place to stay in Rajasthan. En route between Jaipur and Jodhpur, this place is a hidden gem and well worth a break from city sightseeing for a few days relaxing interlude. Part fairy tale castle, part stylish boutique hotel, there is nothing else quite like it.

Mihir Garh provides a haven of great comfort, with 9 large suites, each with adjoining sitting rooms and all stunningly decorated in soft, earthy colours and with a Moroccan / African / Rajasthani air. Each has its own courtyard and glorious terrace facing out to the surrounding countryside and with either a plunge pool or a Jacuzzi.

The tour starts in Delhi where you will be able to spend a short time seeing the contrasting sites of the New and Old cities before travelling to Agra. Here you will see the indescribable Taj Mahal and the fascinating deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

This tour includes the vibrant “Pink City” of Jaipur: a city full of captivating ancient palaces and forts, with most of them boasting stunning views and elaborate architecture. You will also visit Jodhpur, affectionately known as the “Blue City” for its blue painted buildings; the fascinating, walled old part of the city is presided over by the looming Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India.

On the way to Devigarh and Udaipur, you will also stop at the impressive Jain temple at Ranakpur. Udaipur is an enchanting place full of old mansions, beautiful gardens, intricate temples, and grand palaces overlooking expansive shimmering lakes.

Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI

India Gate, DelhiArrive Delhi by international flight. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel for 2 nights. Optional (Time permitting): Possible visit to Nizamuddin slum dwellers to see the initiative taken by Project Armaan to support children of Nizamuddin slums dwellers. It aims to remove every rag picker child from trash and help in their schooling & vocational training.

Day 02: DELHI
delhiToday combined sightseeing of Old & New Delhi.

In Old Delhi see the Raj Ghat, memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the Jama Masjid – largest mosque in India. Spend some time in Chandni Chowk to savour the ambience of a crowded oriental bazaar & drive past the Red Fort. In New Delhi visit the Bangla Saheb Sikh temple with its interesting community kitchen, India Gate (memorial to the India army soldiers who died in the World War), Humayus Tomb – the monument which many say inspired the idea of Taj Mahal and Qutab Minar – the beautiful hand-carved medival era 230 feet high minaret. Also drive past central Delhi which houses government buildings like the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the viceroy’s residence) and the parliament House.

Day 03: DELHI – AGRA

taj-mahalMorning after breakfast drive to Agra (210 kms / 4:30 hrs drive).
On arrival check-in at hotel for 01 night.
Afternoon visit the Agra Fort. In Fort visit Diwan-E-Am (House of Commons), mosques within Fort and royal pavilions like Macchi Bhavan, Shah Jahani Mahal & others. Several of the buildings are made of pure marble with beautiful carvings. To cool off the rooms, the walls were hollow and filled with running water. The balconies of these pavilions give clear view of Taj Mahal where you will end the day with an evening tour. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘ Love Poem in Marble’. (Friday closed).

Day 04: AGRA – FATEHPURSIKRI – JAIPUR

FatehpurMorning after breakfast leave Agra for Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. (265 kms / 5:30 hrs drive)
Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital but the city was fully occupied for only 14 years and slowly became deserted due to a lack 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 splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.
After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, drive to Jaipur. On arrival check in at your hotel for 2 nights.

 Day 05: JAIPUR

p1240635Morning excursion to Amer fort. Amer is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride all the way up to the Fort entrance. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal – a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. En route to Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.

p1240700Afternoon sightseeing tour of city visiting Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the Armoury Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers once used by the royal families of Jaipur. Later visit the Jantar Manta which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world situated near the gate of the city palace; the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Day 06: JAIPUR – LAKSHMAN SAGAR

lakshman_sagar_3After breakfast drive to Lakshman Sagar (220 kms / 5 hours drive approx.). On arrival check in for 02 nights.
This is a 32-acre former hunting preserve, once the property of local rulers, now an eco-resort with 12 cottages and roaming peacocks. Centered on a small lake and a spectacularly massive banyan tree, the rural retreat is in the arid “Badlands” of deeply traditional Rajasthan.

 Day 07: LAKSHMAN SAGAR

p1240279During your day at leisure you can do one or more of the following activities:
Nature walk with field breakfast A morning walk through the henna fields, arriving at a farmer’s hut, a charpoy is laid and the Chula lit, as the guests enjoy bajre ki roti with fresh home–made butter and piping hot masala chai.
Harvesting & Handpicking Vegetables from the fields From dark green okra to bright red ripe tomatoes, rich purple brinjals & tangy green chilies, the fields always have a variety of fresh home.
Angling While you catch your meal for the evening, enjoy the stark silence of the lake only to be disturbed by the occasional plopping of the fish. One can spend relaxing hours sitting by the lake alongside sunbathing turtles, chirping birds and grazing nilgais.
Jeep Safari to Todgarh – Rawail Wildlife Sanctuary
Day excursion to Raipur Fort
Horse Safari / Bullock cart ride to the nearby villages

 Day 08: LAKSHMAN SAGAR – MIHIR GARH (Jodhpur)

JodhpurAfter breakfast drive to Jodhpur (135 kms / 3:30 hours drive approx.).
In Jodhpur visit the 5-km long Mehrangarh Fort situated on a 125-mt high hill. This is one of the most impressive and formidable structures in Rajasthan. Within the fort are some magnificent palaces with meticulously carved panels, latticed windows or “Jarokhas” with evocative names. Later visit the Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II. End the tour with a short walk through the colorful local market which is abuzz with activities.
After sightseeing, drive to Rohet village (50 kms / 1:30 hrs drive) for 02 nights stay in beautiful Mihir Garh.

Day 09: MIHIR GARH

mihir-garh-fort-hotelMihir Garh holds nine magnificent suites. Each one is more than 1700 square feet of pure luxury. Private jacuzzi’s or plunge pools with each suite, re-define the word indulgence. Numerous alcoves, lounges and common areas commanding a spectacular view have been designed so you can experience intimacy – with yourself and another. Rest assured that Mihir Garh will be able to provide high standards of hospitality to you amidst the vast wilderness of the Thar desert.
Morning village safari around Mihir Garh. This Safari enables you to feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan. The little mud houses, the turban clad men, the shy, beautiful women, dressed in their traditional costumes. The market with its rich display of wares, will certainly bewitch you. To make this experience, even more intimate, the guests visit the homes of the village folks and share a slice of their life. Afternoon is at leisure to relax & unwind in Mihir Garh.

Day 10: MIHIR GARH – RANAKPUR – DEVI GARH (UDAIPUR)

p1240056Morning drive to lake city Udaipur visiting Jain temple of Ranakpur enroute. (220 kms / 5:30 hrs drive) Ranakpur- The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India. 90 Kms north of Udaipur. It lies in a remote valley of the Aravali range and is an important destination for Jains and tourists alike.
Later continue drive to Udaipur and on arrival check in at amazing Devi Garh for 2 nights.

 Day 11: DEVI GARH

Devigarh-599x449Morning city tour visiting City Palace, built in 1725, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal – studded with glittering Belgian mirrors, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna all of which are ornately decorated.
Later visit the Jagdish Temple. This temple built in 1651 is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver in the Hindu Trinity of Gods. Also visit the Sahelion Ki Bari gardens and fountains. Later drive around the Fatehsagar Lake.  Late afternoon boat ride on Lake Pichola. The lake is 4-Km long and 3-Km wide, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. Visit the island palace Jag Niwas which is beautifully set in the lake. (Boat Ride is subject to availability of water in lake)

Day 12: DEVI GARH

Devigarh 2Whole day at leisure to relax & unwind in Devi Garh. Nestled in the Aravali hills, the 18th century Devigarh by Lebua in the village of Delwara, forms one of the three main passes into the valley of Udaipur. Devi Garh is ready for visitors after years of restoration and rebuilding. The Fort palace was conceived as a place where the past meets the future. This all suite luxury hotel comprising of 39 suites with an emphasis on design and detail, using local marbles and semi-precious stones. The contemporary design showcased within this spectacular heritage property, complemented by personalised and intimate service, creates a new image of India for the 21st century.
You can relax by the pool or stroll down the lanes of take a small walk in the adjoining Delwara village or soothe your body by taking one of the many massages offered by the spa.

 Day 13: DEVI GARH – UDAIPUR – DELHI

Today morning transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight for Delhi.

9W 2628 Udaipur/Delhi 07:40/09:20

Arrive Delhi airport and board the flight for onward / return destination.

 

May 192013
 

Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India. The park is located in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, which is about 130 km from Jaipur. It is the former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur but today the Ranthambore National Park  is major wildlife tourist attraction.

 

  • Banyan Tree, Ranthambore

    Banyan Tree, Ranthambore

  • Bonellis Eagle, Ranthambore

    Bonellis Eagle, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Ranthambore Fort

    Ranthambore Fort

  • Sambhar Deer, Ranthambore

    Sambhar Deer, Ranthambore

  • sambhar_deer_by_n_a_nazeer_0

    sambhar_deer_by_n_a_nazeer_0

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Vivanta by Taj Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore

    Vivanta by Taj Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore

  • Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore

    Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

    Tiger Sighting on Safari, Ranthambore

  • Sher Bagh, Ranthambore

    Sher Bagh, Ranthambore

  • Sher Bagh, Ranthambore

    Sher Bagh, Ranthambore

Things to see

Tigers

p1240528The deep gorges, lakes and jungles are the habitat of many carnivores such as caracal, panther, jackal, and hyena and also a rich variety of resident and migratory birds. However, the most famous resident is the endangered tiger which is spotted quite frequently at Ranthambore. All the photographs of tigers on this page taken by us, not a professional photographer, which shows how accessible they are.


Wild Life

sambhar_deer_by_n_a_nazeer_0Other wild life includes large herds of Sambar deer which can be seen on the edges of lakes feeding on aquatic plants, seemingly unafraid of passing jeeps. Also in the lake live “Muggers” or marsh crocodiles, often seen basking on the lake shores, and sometimes seen dragging a deer into the water.A large mammal not usually seen is the Sloth Bear. This shaggy creature is nocturnal sheltering in rocky outcrops at night.


Birds

bonellis-eagleThere are many birds of pray to be see, including the Crested Serpent eagle and Bonelli’s eagle. Also many species of pigeon, flycatchers, stork and other water birds.


Banyan Tree

img_3783Next to the Jogi Mahal Forest Rest House is an ancient banyan tree, claimed to be the second largest banyan tree in the world. It is inhabited, not only by many birds but also has a resident troop of langurs (a type of old world monkey).


Ranthambore Fort

ranthambhore-fortRanthambore Fort was founded by Chauhan rajput King Sapaldaksha in 944 AD and is said to have got its name from two adjoining hills – Rann and Thambhore. The fort commands a strategic location, 700 feet above the surrounding plain, located on Thambhor Hill. The walls of the fort are about 7 kilometers in length and include an area of nearly 4 square kilometers. The three large lakes of Ranthambore national park, the Padam Talab, Malik Talab and Raj Bagh, are visible from the fortification walls.

 

May 192013
 

Jaipur is a labyrinth of fascinating bazaars, opulent palaces and historic sights, often called the “Pink City” because its prominent buildings are washed in this colour. Its building took six years from 1727 and is laid out in a geometric grid of streets and squares and is one of India’s finest examples of a planned city.

 

  • Amer Fort Lake Gardens

    Amer Fort Lake Gardens

  • Amer Fort Inner Courtyard

    Amer Fort Inner Courtyard

  • Amer Fort

    Amer Fort

  • Jaipur - the Pink City

    Jaipur - the Pink City

  • Amer Fort Complex

    Amer Fort Complex

  • Ishwar Lat

    Ishwar Lat

  • Elephant Polo

    Elephant Polo

  • Entrance to Amer Fort

    Entrance to Amer Fort

  • Hawa Mahal

    Hawa Mahal

  • City Palace

    City Palace

  • Ladies at the City Palace

    Ladies at the City Palace

  • Decorative Stonework

    Decorative Stonework

  • Jal Mahal (Water Palace)

    Jal Mahal (Water Palace)

  • Intricate Architecture

    Intricate Architecture

  • Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer

  • Walled Gateway

    Walled Gateway

  • Taxi!

    Taxi!

Things to see

Tripolia Bazaar

P1240697This colourful area hasn’t changed much since it was built in the 18th century. There are many small streets off the main thoroughfares  and “Chaupars” (Squares), where artisans  fashion puppets, silver jewellery, and other local handicrafts in tiny workshops. The area is a hub of activity, rich with pungent smells and vibrant colours with the temple bells adding to the range of sounds. There are flower markets, pottery sellers, and vegetable markets amoungst the ornate mosques and even an astronomical observatory with an array of sculpture-like instruments.


Hawa Mahal

Hawa MahaHawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’ is Rajasthan’s most famous building.The palace is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument that rises to a height of 15 m. The top three floors of the structure have a dimension of one room width while the first and second floors have patios in front of them, on the rear side of the structure. The front elevation, as seen from the street, is like a honeycomb web of a beehive built with small portholes. Each porthole has miniature windows and has carved sandstone grills, finials and domes.It was built in 1798 in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god.The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict “purdah” (face cover).


City Palace Museum

P1240688The City Palace was the home to the rules of Jaipur from the first half of the 18th century. This sprawling complex is a fantastic fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture incorporating airy Mughal-style public spaces. Today, part of the complex is open to the public as the City Palace Museum. It holds an array of Jaipur’s old treasures including paintings, manuscripts, musical instruments royal costumes and weaponry.


Jantar Mantar

jantar-mantar-observatoryThe Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Sawai Jai Singh who was a Mughal  Emperor. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun and predicting the position of planets. The Samrat Yantra, the largest instrument, is 27 m high, its shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day. Built from local stone and marble, each instrument carries an astronomical scale, generally marked on the marble inner lining. Bronze tablets, all extraordinarily accurate, were also employed. Thoroughly restored in 1901, the Jantar Mantar was declared a national monument in 1948.


Amber fort

AmberjprThe fort palace of Amber was the Kachhawaha capital until 1727, when it was moved the 7 miles to Jaipur. It was established in 1592 on the remains of an old 11th century fort. The fort is situated at the mouth of a rocky mountain gorge, above the Maotha Lake. It is a remarkable example of combined Rajput-Mughal architecture. The outer appearance of the fort; rough and craggy, is totally different from its ornate interior.The fort is divided into four main sections each with its own entry gate and courtyard.

Places to Stay

Taj Rambagh Palace

p1240732Another impressive Taj Group hotel, the Rambagh Palace is often referred to as the “Jewel of Jaipur”. It is Jaipur’s most magnificent palace hotel, and was home to the royal family for over 30 years. The hotel is set amongst 47 acres of magnificent gardens to the south of the Old City. The hotel of choice for celebrities and sport stars across the globe, Rambagh Palace, is widely considered to be one of the best hotels around the world.


Samode Haveli

 samode-haveli-in-rajasthanThis restored haveli in the heart of old Jaipur has character in abundance. No two rooms are the same but all are gorgeously decorated with style and opulence, a few even have a small outdoor terrace. The swimming pool and surrounding relaxation area are simply gorgeous with enormous canopied day beds to chill with a cold aperitif at the end of a busy day. The central courtyard turns into a magical candle lit dinner venue in the evening and the food is very good indeed. All in all, a very impressive package – I loved it!


Shahpura House

Canopied BedShahpura House is a friendly Heritage Hotel with loads of character, located around 4 kms from the city centre. Rare among hotels, it has remained a family home and they will welcome you as their honoured guest. Mixing old and new, the hotel boasts stunning Shekhawati decor and royal architecture with stylish and modern, comfortable facilities. All rooms are different but equally gorgeous, my personal favourite having a pretty sit out overlooking the inner courtyard. A secluded swimming pool and fantastic rooftop restaurant serving delicious local food complete this very reasonably priced hotel.


May 192013
 

This bustling desert city is the second largest in Rajasthan after Jaipur. It was founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, in 1459 AD. The mammoth, imposing fortress (Meherangarh) dominates the rocky ridge with its eight gates leading out of the fort. Sprawling below the fort complex, cornflower blue houses cluster around a network of alleyways and bazaars. Jodhpur has character and charm in abundance and I absolutely loved it!

  • Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

    Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

  • Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

    Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

  • City Walls & Bazaar, Jodhpur

    City Walls & Bazaar, Jodhpur

  • Bishnois

    Bishnois

  • Cornflower Blue Houses, Jodhpur

    Cornflower Blue Houses, Jodhpur

  • Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

    Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Local Musician, Jodhpur

    Local Musician, Jodhpur

  • Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

    Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

    Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur

  • Jodhpur from Mehrangarh Fort

    Jodhpur from Mehrangarh Fort

  • Love this!

    Love this!

  • Inside Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

    Inside Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

  • Opium Man, Jodhpur

    Opium Man, Jodhpur

  • Fresco at Mehrangarh Fort

    Fresco at Mehrangarh Fort

  • Market Stall, Jodhpur

    Market Stall, Jodhpur

  • View of Mehrangarh Fort from Raas Hotel, Jodhpur

    View of Mehrangarh Fort from Raas Hotel, Jodhpur

  • Yellow Sari at Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

    Yellow Sari at Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

  • Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

    Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Things to see

Mehrangarh Fort

p1240146Rising out of a sheer 125 m high rock, Mehrangarh Fort is perhaps the most majestic of Rajasthan’s forts. Its forbidding ramparts are in sharp contrast to the flamboyantly decorated places within. The sandstone fort was built mainly between the mid 17th and mid 19th centuries, some years afterr the city was founded in 1459.

Umaid Bhavan Palace

p1240250This immense palace, built of creamy-pink sandstone and marble was designed for the Maharaja in the late 1920’s. Interiors are opulent, with Art Deco touches, gilded furniture and colored murals. The Palm Court, with a soaring 105-foot cupola, stops many visitors in their tracks, as do the royal suites, the former residences of the Maharaja Umaid Singh.

Blue Washed Houses and Markets

p1240176Surrounding the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort lies the city of Jodhpur with its blue washed houses and fascinating markets. Actually painted blue to ward off insects, this is the reason why Jodhpur is often referred to as the ‘Blue City’.  This is a great place to wander through the maze of alleyways and experience the many curious aspects of India that make it so compelling.  Impromptu barber shops, dentistry taking place on the pavement and a swathe of colour provided by huge numbers of saris for sale in the market place.  When it’s time for a break, treat yourself to a Lassi at the world famous Lassi Hotel.  Delicious.

Jaswant Thada

jaswant-thada-jodhpur3The Jaswant Thada is an architectural landmark located in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built by Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh.
The monument, in its entirety, is built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. These stones are extremely thin and polished so that they emit a warm glow when the sun’s rays dance across their surface.
Within this cenotaph, there are also two more tombs. The Jaswant Thada is a traditional cremation ground of Jodhpur rulers. The grounds also include exquisitely carved gazebos, a beautiful multi-tiered garden, and a small lake.


Bishnoi Villages

BishnoisThe arid country side south of Jodhpur is dotted with villages, the mud and thatch huts inhabited by the 450 year old Bishnoi tribe with its distinctive way of life. The villagers practice many traditional crafts including pottery and weaving (using cotton or camel hair).They are environmentalists in the fundamental sense, preserving the wildlife in scientific and logical routines evolved over the centuries of living with nature.

 

Places to Stay

Mihirgarh, near Jodhpur

 mihir-garh-fort-hotelAs we sped through the Thar desert, sand clouds trailing in our wake, a hazy mirage of golden stone crenellations came into view. Standing alone in splendid isolation is Mihir Garh, the result of a 12-year dream by Rajput husband-and-wife owners, Sidharth and Rashmi Singh. This place is different. This place is special. This is quite possibly my favourite place to stay in the whole of Rajasthan.

Lakshman Sagar, near Jodhpur

lakshman_sagar_3 The quirkiest place to stay in Rajasthan. En route between Jaipur and Jodhpur, this place is a hidden gem and well worth a break from city sightseeing for a few days relaxing interlude. Part fairy tale castle, part stylish boutique hotel, there is nothing else quite like it. The gorgeous swimming pool is literally carved into the rocky plateau and has stunning views over the surrounding desert. The pink mattress day beds that adorn the rocks are typical of the bizarre and ‘shabby chic’ style of this fascinating property. For something completely different and in total contrast to the regal splendour of Rajasthan’s ancient forts and palaces, a stay at Lakshman Sagar is highly recommended.

Raas

Dining with a ViewOnce an urban noble residence in the heart of Jodhpur, Raas and has been lovingly and painstakingly brought back to life and up to date by the inspired owners. The combination of the old and the new works extraordinarily well. It is young at heart and different and has a pretty central swimming pool, an enchanting spa, an atmospheric dining room a cool café, and al fresco terraces. It is the only luxury hotel located within Jodhpur’s Old Walled City and the views of the mighty Meherangarh Fort looming above are unbeatable.

Ajit Bhawan Palace

Dining CourtyardThe Ajit Bhawan Palace was once the residence of the family of the late General Maharaj Ajit Singhji. The original palace building is now the grand entrance to the Heritage hotel and accommodates the indulgent luxury suites. My personal favourite however are the Garden Rooms which have a nice outside terrace and look out over the lawns and gardens towards the rather unusual swimming pool. Al fresco dining here is a delight and there is regular entertainment provided by local musicians and performers. A great property and at a very reasonable price.