Early morning pick up would be from your airport in Delhi for drive to Jaipur.
Reach Jaipur. Check into the hotel and relax.
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.
The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean 'one and a quarter', suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just 'one'. Jaipur is known as the 'Pink City' on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.
In the evening, visit the Ram Niwas Garden, just outside the walled city. Here, you will find the Albert Hall Museum, opened in 1886, housing a superb collection of paintings, carpets, ivory, stone and metal sculpture.
This evening, you can enjoy an exuberant Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance and a puppetry show, performed by a local tribe, followed by dinner consisting of typical Indian cuisine.
In the magical land of Rajasthan where the heat shimmers like phantom water, where the things you see are not really there and where the things that vanish behind veils of illusion, stands Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort with a blend of rustic environment and modern amenities making it an important destination in Pink City.
Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.
Day 02 - Jaipur
Proceed for a morning excursion to Amer Fort after breakfast. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.
Amber Fort and Palace - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honored fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Mughal ruling families.
Later enjoy the city tour of Jaipur:
City Palace - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
Jantar Mantar - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
Hawa Mahal - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five level structure of sandstone-plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
Return to the hotel and relax. This evening could also be utilized in shopping at the old city and enjoying a walk in the numerous alleys of the area.
Overnight will be at Jaipur.
Day 03 - Jaipur - Jodhpur
By Road 330kms in 5.5hrs
Breakfast will be served at the hotel.
Proceed to Jodhpur by road. Reach and check in at the hotel.
Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. A high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions encompasses the city.
Visit museum in Umaid Bhawan Palace - The romantic Palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace. Another part of the palace houses a well-maintained museum, displaying an amazing array of items belonging to the Maharaja and the royal family - weapons, antiques & fascinating clocks, crockery and trophies.
Overnight will be at Jodhpur.
Day 04 - Jodhpur
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur - gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathore?s of Marwar, visit the Mehrangarh Fort, rising up a hilly scarp, built on the advice of a hermit, overlooking the city in the image of a long sentinel. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial.
Mehrangarh Fort - Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrate a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Mehrangarh Fort, spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, presents a majestic view on city horizon. It was built on advice of a saint in 1459 to establish an impregnable head-quarter. This Fort is one of the best in India with its exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort's ramparts are well preserved.
Jaswant Thada - Close to the fort complex, lies Jaswant Thada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and three other cenotaphs stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.
Drive to the Bishnoi Villages for a short jeep safari.
Visit the Bishnoi Villages and have a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. The Bishnoi community inhabits this village. They are staunch believers in the sanctity of plant and animal life. Villages are marked by Khejri trees and deer, which thrive. Memorable moments of the great desert landscape fascinate one while driving along the countryside.
Overnight will be in Jodhpur.
Day 05 - Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Udaipur
By Road 270kms in 5.5hrs
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed to Udaipur visiting Ranakpur enroute.
En-route, visit the Ranakpur Temples, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.
Continue drive to Udaipur. Reach and check in at hotel.
The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.
Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.
Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR - a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.
Relax in the evening.
Overnight will be in Udaipur.
Day 06 - Udaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel.
Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.
City Palace - Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola, is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559 A.D. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of "Jag Niwas" (the world wide famous Lake palace hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parathions, terraces, corridors and gardens - a harmonic profusion hard to describe. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the vivid mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of KRISHNA are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other places such as Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and Krishna villas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princess. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.
Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.
Saheliyon ki Bari - Maharana Sangram Singh builds this in the mid-18th century. The 'garden of the maidens' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The Foundation of the Saheliyon ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool, a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. The whole ambiences are flavored by the nostalgia of those beautiful bells enjoying themselves in a lavish aura.
Bagore ki Haveli - This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen's Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-ki-haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.
Jagdish Temple - The temple is situated in the middle of the city. The temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument and should be seen carefully. Raised on a tall terrace and completed in 1651, it is a tribute alike to the tenacity of its builders and the resilience of the art tradition it represents. It attaches a double storied Mandapa (hall) to a double - storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple and walking leisurely through them brings you face with the many layers of the cultural palimpsest that Udaipur is. Maharana Jagat Singh I built it in 1651 A.D.
Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.
Overnight will be at Udaipur.
Day 07 - Departure from Udaipur
Breakfast will be at the hotel.
Proceed to Udaipur airport to take onward flight with sweet memories of the CAPTIVATING RAJASTHAN TOUR.
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