Duration11 Nights/12 Days

Places: Delhi → Mandawa → Bikaner → Jaisalmer → Jodhpur → Udaipur → Jaipur → Agra  → Delhi

Day 1: New Delhi

The capital of India overwhelms one with its temples, mosques, forts, colonial mansions and busy streets. Delhi has two distinct parts – Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi being the 17th century capital of the Moghul Empire has many Mughal Architecture places, forts and mosques including the Red fort & Jami Masjid. New Delhi was established as the capital of British India in 1911 and consists of planned, wide streets interspersed with parks and fountains.

Day 2: Mandawa

This town is part of the Shekhawati region (190 km north of Jaipur), a region of profound beauty. The buildings, architecture and paintings possess richness unparalleled in India. The incredible number of mansions, palaces and cenotaphs here are decorated inside out with detailed and vivid colourful murals – all executed between 1770 and 1930. What is unusual is that these murals have been commissioned not by Maharajas or religious institutions but mainly by the regional merchants, the Marwaris. Most of the buildings are privately owned, but one may ask permission and enter to take a look at the beauty of these houses.

Day 3: Bikaner

Bikaner was founded 500 years ago by Rao Bhikaji, a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur. It was an important city located along the trade route for the medieval period. The old city is surrounded by high fortifications with a seven kilometers long wall. Popular attractions in Bikaner are the famous fort of Junagarh and the Palace Anup Mahal, which is richly encrusted with mosaics, lacquers and mirrors. The Temple of Karni Mata is 33 kms from Bikaner, dedicated to a woman who lived in the 15th century, the Karniji mystic, venerated like the incarnation of goddess Durga.

Day 4/5: Jaisalmer

Unlike any other city, this desert fortress is one of Rajasthan’s most exotic and unusual towns. Jaisalmer, an important ancient trading centre because of its strategic location on the camel trade routes, is often described as the ‘golden city’. The havelis, built by merchants of the 19th century, are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone and are still in a beautiful condition. The fort built by Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century, stands on the 80 metre high Trikuta hill, with beautifully carved Jain temples.

Day 6: Jodhpur

Once the centre of the large princely state of Marwar, Jodhpur sprawls on the edge of the Thar Desert. The entire fort is packed with palaces, museums, houses, hotels, shops and stalls – loaded with brilliant Rajasthani clothing with mirrors and embroideries. The old city is dominated by blue colour, as in the olden times the houses belonging to Brahmins were given a blue wash. Later on the colour has spread and you’ll find the blue even on mosques and other buildings now. Within the fort lies Jhanki Mahal, Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and other palaces wherein one sees beautiful lattice work on sandstone walls.

Day 7/8: Udaipur

One of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is situated around a shimmering clear blue water lake. The city acquires its scenic beauty from the Aravallis. The shops of Udaipur have plenty of exquisite items to offer. The dainty folk toys, brightly coloured garments, hand printed textiles, batiks, and tie & dye sarees and fabrics to name a few. ‘Pichwais’ or wall hangings painted on cloth are world renowned for their vivid colours and themes. The Lake Palace, once a private retreat of Prince Jagat II, is located on an island in Lake Pichola. It is now transformed into a heritage hotel.

Day 9/10: Jaipur

Jaipur, the Pink City founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743), is the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills crowned with forts & enclosed by embattled walls. Houses with latticed windows line the streets with their rose pink colour, lending enchantment to the scene which is almost magical at sunset. Jaipur and its surroundings are like an endless museum. The city also offers a variety of crafts. Jewelers here still fashion the beautiful enamel-on-gold pendants, studded on the reverse with precious stones or pearls & turquoise that one sees in miniature paintings. Jaipur’s lacquer bangles are famous all over the world.

Day 11: Agra

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is synonymous to Agra. The very first sight of this ‘Poetry in White Marble’ leaves one mesmerized. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan constructed this monument in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. “This epitome of love”, is a monument of immeasurable beauty beyond human expression. Agra is also home to two other heritage monuments – The Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

Day 12: New Delhi

Transfer to New Delhi and proceed to onward destination.

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