The enchanting northern state of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. On our classic adventure we discover the fierce history of massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs’ palaces. Stroll markets, search for the elusive Bengal tiger, enjoy a shared meal with a family in Pushkar, and soak up the culture of the local people. This is truly the essence of Rajasthan.
Day 1 Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India. If you have the day free, joining one of our Urban Adventures is a great introduction to the city. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you’re going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After the meeting, head out for your first optional dinner together with your group.
Day 2 Delhi
In the morning, navigate the citys metro system to discover Old Delhi on a walking tour. Hitch a ride on a traditional cycle rickshaw through a typical Indian traffic jam in the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace. Visit Delhis oldest mosque of Jama Masjid, which is also Indias largest. Escape from the frenetic pace of the city streets by ducking into a Sikh temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, to observe the spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. The communal kitchen welcomes all, and there’s a chance to have a simple meal here together. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the sights of Delhi. Many past travellers have recommended the Delhi Food Walk or Home Cooked Delhi tours with Urban Adventures as a great way to safely (and deliciously!) explore the tastes of India.
Day 3 Agra
Travel to Agra by one of India’s express air-conditioned trains (approx 3 hours/230km). Steeped in Mughal heritage, Agra has a wealth of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Visit the Taj Mahal and learn why Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. Buzz around Agra in a motorised rickshaw and explore inside the spectacular sandstone walls of the Red Fort, built to encompass the imperial city of the Mughal rulers in the 16th century. If you have time, move on to Akbar’s Mausoleum to honour the great emperor. For a meal that makes a difference while in Agra, consider visiting Sheroes Hangout, a remarkable social enterprise that supports survivors of acid attacks.
Day 4 Madhogarh
Take a local bus to Bassi, a small town in the middle of rural Rajasthan (approx 4 hours/210km). Then travel by private transport to your accommodation for the night (approx 45 min/20km) in Madhogarh. On a walk through the village, see craftspeople at work and meet some of our local friends. In the evening, stay in the beautiful heritage property of Fort Madhogarh, which has belonged to one of Rajasthans royal families for centuries. Dinner is included here tonight.
Day 5 Jaipur
Travel on by private vehicle to Jaipur (approx 90min/50km). On arrival, take a walk around the Pink City of Jaipur. Get among the crowds of the citys bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, visit the Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture. The Sheesh Mahal inside the fort is a must-see. As the walls are completely covered in little mirrors, the hall illuminates with the light of a single match. After the tour, you’ll have further free time to spend as you wish.
Day 6 Jaipur
Today is a full free day that you can jam pack with experiences of your choice. This morning, you could take an optional hot air balloon ride. Floating across the skyline of Jaipur in a hot air balloon is a highlight of the trip for many travellers. Jump on a rickshaw to Hawa Mahal, also known as the ‘Palace of the Winds. Alternatively, head to Jaipur’s Royal City Palace or the observatory of Jantar Mantar to see a collection of intriguing astronomical instruments. After a long day of exploration, perhaps head to the Raj Mandir Cinema to experience a Bollywood film.
Day 7 Ranthambhore National Park
Continuing on frm Jaipur by private vehicle, head to Ranthambhore (approximately 5 hours/200km). Ranthambhore National Park was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, and was one of the original Project Tiger reserves. Explore the ruins of the parks 10th-century fort, and in the evening take a 4WD safari in search of tigers and other wildlife, such as hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and birds. Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On trips departing during this time, you’ll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16km from Ranthambhore and due to its hilly terrain isn’t as affected by the monsoon. Tigers also inhabit this area and spottings are more favorable at this time of year as they move here away from flooded areas of Ranthambhore.
Day 8 Bundi
Next, travel to Bundi by private vehicle (approx 4 hours/150km). Navigate Bundi’s narrow streets on an insightful walking tour, including wandering through the downtown market. Stop in at Bundi’s intriguing and intricate step wells (baori), an architectural marvel and once the source of water for the town. Check out the 16th-century Bundi Palace with its famous murals before checking into our next heritage stay for the night.
Day 9 Paangarh Lake
Take off from Bundi and and take a local train to Bassi. cross the Chittorgarh countryside to Paangarh Lake. Enjoy the view out to the 15th-century fort and unwind with a cup of chai while watching sunset over the lake. You’ll spend tonight in a beautiful permanent tented camp, right on the lakeshore – a truly relaxing experience away from the chaos of India’s cities.
Day 10 Bijaipur
This morning we drive in an open-top jeep out into the countryside past tranquil villages. You might be lucky enough to spot some native wildlife as we drive through the region. Meet some villagers and maybe even get a henna tattoo – a temporary but very traditional souvenir. Arrive at our next heritage stay and enjoy a meal of authentic local specialties.
Day 11 Udaipur
Depart the heritage stay and begin your next journey by private vehicle takes us to Udaipur (approximately 4 hours/180km). Take in the citys hills, lakes and white marble palaces, or delve into its twisting alleys and bazaars filled with silver, leather goods and miniature paintings. A popular centre for artists, dancers and musicians, theres plenty to entertain you here. After a city walk with your leader, the rest of your day is free.
Day 12 Udaipur
Visit Udaipur’s City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Some suggestions for your free time after the tour include an optional boat ride on the picturesque Lake Pichola (seasonal) to marvel at the island palaces off Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir and seeing a cultural performance that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances in the evening.
Day 13 Pushkar
Take a six-hour air-conditioned train to Ajmer and then a private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar, a place synonymous with Rajasthan. Enjoy a walking tour to visit the bustling ghats and temples around Pushkar Lake, and watch as the devout worship by the holy waters and at the Brahma Temple. At lunchtime, share a meal with a local family and learn about their life living in this desert city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore further.
Day 14 Pushkar – Delhi
Early risers can hike up to the Savitri Temple for amazing sunrise views over the town this morning. Board the Shatabdi Express train, departing Ajmer around 2 pm for the trip back to Delhi, arriving at around 10:40 pm. Transfer to the hotel on arrival for your final night of the trip.
Day 15 Delhi
There are no activities planned for the final day and youre able to depart the accommodation at any time.