Day 1: Arrival / Mumbai
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Overnight : Hotel Fariyas (Standard Room)
Day 2: Mumbai / Ahmedabad (9W 327 - 955 / 155)
Ahmedabad / Dungarpur
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Ahmedabad
Meeting & assistance upon arrival and drive to Dungarpur
Upon arrival check into the Udai Bilas Palace
The history of Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur, Rajasthan dates from the mid-19th century, when Maharawal Udai Singhji-II, a great patron of art and architecture built a wing of bluish grey local stone " Pareva" overlooking the lake and the " Ek Thambia Mahal," featuring intricate sculptured pillars and panels, ornate balconies, balustrades, bracketed windows, arches and frieze of marble carvings, a veritable marvel of Rajput architecture. The Udai Bilas Palace was enlarged in 194 by Maharawal Laxman Singhji, who built three new wings around the " Ek Thambia Mahal" (Literally one- pillared Palace) and thus created the famous " courtyard of the palace. The result is an architectural expression exquisitely detailed.
Still the royal residence, the Palace offers accommodation in the houseguest tradition with seventeen spacious and lavishly appointed bedrooms. No two rooms are alike; each room enchants with its own personality, spaciousness and modern comforts and offers a unique experience. The Furnishings are mostly from the 2th century art-deco style, marble bathrooms with English fixtures and running hot and cold water. Meals are served either in the banquet hall, which displays crystal chandeliers, or in the more intimate family dining room. Continental or Chinese dishes are also served.
Overnight : Udaibilas Palace - Heritage Hotel
"A taste of Mumbai lingers until now in my mind as I flip my photo album cards. I recollect the miniatures from Jaipur and a small Taj for my bedroom."
» Shelly Mathhews, Zurich
Day 3: Dungarpur
The district is the stronghold of Bheels, a tribe whose history of occupancy in the Aravalli Range is said to date back to 4 B.C. They are one of the oldest and most primitive tribes of the world. This morning we will visit some of these unspoiled Bheel hamlets in and around the town. We will witness and photograph age-old tribal lifestyles and customs handed down over the centuries. You would have an opportunity to meet villagers who have never seen white people!! Say hello to people, allow them to get used to you and then, you may go ahead with your pictures. You would soon end up as the pied piper followed by scores of noisy and happy children!!!
We return to our hotel by mid morning to enjoy the destination at leisure. Udai Bilas Palace is a round-the-year paradise for bird watchers.
The cooler months from mid October to February are the best to see winter migratory birds when birds can be observed in attractive plumage. One can see from the Palace itself at remarkably close range egrets, night and pond herons, white necked and painted storks, coots and winter or resident ducks among others, depending on the season of your visit. Birds are also plentiful in the surrounding wood lands where one can hope to see the Grey Hornbill, Gray Partridge, Green Pigeon, Peafowl, Peacocks, Paradise fly-catcher and the Golden backed woodpecker, to name a few representative species. You may proceed on a leisurely walk around the lake or heir boat for a special boat trip on the lake as well as a gentle trek through the forests so that the nature lover in you is able to enjoy the beauty of the place and are able to get a close look at the bird life.
Late afternoon we visit the ancient fortified ruins of the Old Fort. Besides fine panoramic view of the ancient town of Dungarpur the fort has well preserved examples of natural colour paintings and incredible art and architecture.
Overnight : Udaibilas Palace - Heritage Hotel
Day 4: Dungarpur / Udaipur (12 Kms)
Following a leisurely breakfast drive to Udaipur
Welcome to Udaipur, the famed "City of sunrise". Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living. A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior state of Rajasthan
Upon arrival check into your hotel Jagat Niwas, a modern heritage hotel replete with character and charm, besides all comforts discerning tourists would seek.
Following rest and relaxation, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake City". Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. It is probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The huge city palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of buildings built by successive rulers, it manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design and affords very fine view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The Jagadish temple next to the city palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a brass image. The temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan Art.
Evening we take a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of rare beauty.
Overnight : Jagat Niwas Palace - (Deluxe Lake View room)
Day 5: Udaipur/ Ranakpur/ Rohet (24 Kms)
Following a leisurely breakfast we ride out to Rohet. Enroute we visit Ranakpur.
The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The basement is of 48, sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 18 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is of Chaumukh or four-face temple dedicated to Adinath. From here we continue our ride to Rohet.
At Rohet, one is transported in to a world of the past, a world of honour and of chivalry, of glory and of pride; a world of vibrant colours and spectacular magnificence. Past centuries come to life at the historic boundary walls of Rohet- the 16th century fortified deserted home of a Rajput clan. Within the precincts of these time weathered walls is our hotel, the impressive Rohetgarh Fort- a bastion of proud Rajput traditions bathed in the ambience of unmistakable Rajasthani culture where one can, even today experience the famed warm and courteous Rajput hospitality. Frescoes on the tall gateway, brightly painted in the traditional style, using traditional motifs and colour schemes herald your entry to this charmed world the bygone era. The gateway leads to a compound where a profusion of flowers frame the archways in welcome. The portico is a warm and informal place decorated with the artifacts and trophies of many years. Exquisitely carved furniture, delicate hand block prints, original paintings and photographs decorate your rooms, which though redolent with the romance of a bygone era, provide all the modern amenities. Antique hunting riffles, shields & spearheads, daggers and original paintings form the backdrop of the dinning room. The swimming pool here is in beautiful settings and is an oasis in a dessert.
The food at Rohetgarh is special; each recipe is both traditional and typical, handed down the generations and jealously guarded to retain its pristine flavours. You savour only the very best of Rajasthani cuisine's, food favoured by the Royalty. The 16th century descendants of the Rathore ruling family still live here and host the guests. The members of the Royal family interact with the guests and interesting stories and anecdotes are narrated.
This afternoon, we would explore Rohet, which is a fascinating small feudal town, which seems to be straight out of the Arabian Nights. There is no proper road here - only one main dusts trail. On either side are typical thatched houses and shops of all kinds - colourful bangles, silver jewellery, potters, fruit vendors on carts, dress shops, tailors etc.
Late afternoon we enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of Rajasthan villages where traditions centuries old still permeate life styles. One can witness the 'opium ceremony' - a ritual by which guests are welcomed. Gaily attired men and women carry on their chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and customs. The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind one of the simple and traditional living here.
Overnight : Rohetgarh - Heritage Property (Standard Room)
Day 6: Rohet / Jaisalmer (325 Kms)
After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer.
Upon arrival check into hotel Gorbandh Palace. This is a centrally air-conditioned hotel built for comfort and leisure in the desert and is inspired by the traditional Indian concept of housing - a central courtyard with accommodation around it. The Palace offers traditional cuisine in a well-appointed restaurant and has all modern amenities and comforts to make the discovery of the desert more pleasant. The hotel is away from the noises of the city and yet only two kms away from all the action. Enjoy the calm and clear starry sky in the pleasant desert evenings. The dances and folk music for which Rajasthan and specially Jaisalmer is very famous can be enjoyed by campfire in open air at night.
Rest of the day is at leisure. We suggest you walk along the old city to explore traditional and typical Jaisalmer. The havelis (mansions) in a beautiful state of preservation are a fascinating sight.
Overnight : at Gorbandh Palace (Deluxe Room)
Day 7: Jaisalmer / Sam (4 Kms)
After breakfast we visit the residential portions of the Jaisalmer Fort., where one third of the population of the old City still lives. The designs of the houses here remain as they used to a couple of centuries behind time, and so do the lifestyles of the people inhabit them. This is so as most of the families continue to work for generations for the ruler (though only titular now). Hence, their is a sense of continuity. The houses are arranged in narrow lanes and have small windows from where the shy child or the girl peeps through. This city is believed to be the home of the most handsome men and the most gorgeous women in Rajasthan. We would also walk through the narrow cobbled lanes of the golden sandstone city to witness the magnificent medieval Indian Havelis (mansions) of medieval Indian merchants. These elegant buildings, which are very well preserved, tell an apt story of how medieval Indian society existed.
Later Afternoon we drive to Sam, a dessert outpost. Enroute we visit a few typical dessert villages, which have a sprinkling of huts. The rough terrain here does not support cultivation; hence the entire village works as casual labourers in road works or community projects. Inspite of their poverty and hard life the people are very friendly and seem to be aware that they are proud owners of very expressive and beautiful faces. We move on to Sam where we explore the dessert on camel back
Overnight : Deluxe Tents
Day 8: Sam / Jodhpur (32 Kms)
Following a leisurely breakfast, drive to Jodhpur.
Upon arrival check into your hotel Ratan Vilas, exudes an aura distinctly its own - enhanced by its rich and varied collection of paintings, treasure troves and hunting trophies of yesteryear. Everything is well preserved by the royal family, which still uses a part of the building as its home. The magnificent sandstone building, built for Sir Ratan Singhji, the Maharajadhiraj of Jodhpur, tastefully blends the lavish interiors and modern comforts. Present day facilities are harmonized so as not to disturb the antiquity of the royal abode.
Evening, we would ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is one of India's largest and most colourful wholesale markets especially with respect to clothes, fabrics, spices, vegetables etc
Overnight : Ratanvilas - Heritage Property (Standard Room)
Day 9: Jodhpur
Afternoon, proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur. Our tour includes the massive fort. In olden days this must have been impregnable since its rocky base is scraped straight down making it nearly impossible to ascend. Once inside, royal palaces abound with fascinating history and priceless jewels, on to the armoury and Jaswant Thada - the Royal Crematorium. This evening, we would ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is one of India's largest and most colourful wholesale markets especially with respect to clothes, fabrics, spices, vegetables etc.
Rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Jodhpur is a veritable shopper's paradise with entire streets and localities in the walled city devoted to single commodities. The city is famous for bandhani and lahariya, block printed textiles, silver jewellery, antique furniture, wood and metal handicrafts. Carpets and durries can be found on the Umaid Bhawan Palace road. Jodhpur is home to many talented and skilled craftsmen like textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers and probably the last of the tailors of the classic Jodhpur breeches
Overnight : Ratanvilas - Heritage Property (Standard Room)
Day 10: Jodhpur / Jaipur
Morning we drive to the Pink city of Jaipur.
When prince, soldier and astronomer Sawai Jai Singh II built the pink harmonious city of Jaipur in 1727, he did it in accordance with a treatise on town planning and architecture, the Shilpa Shastra, which is timely even today.
With its walls and seven gates, pink and orange buildings, camel-drawn carts, and colorful Rajasthanis, the state capital sits on a flat, dry seabed surrounded by barren hills and ruined fortresses. A young Bengali, Vidhadhar Bhattacharaya was its chief architect.
Upon arrival, check in to Hotel Alsisar Haveli - This is the flagship hotel in a bouquet of heritage hotels. The Haveli lies tucked away in the heart of Pink City, Jaipur. It brings back to life the grandeur of the old days and is a memorable regal Rajasthan experience for the guests. Refurbished in 1982, the Haveli incorporates the finesse of traditional Rajput architecture and a site to behold. The large elevated platform that dominates the central area of the ground floor and once used for get-togethers by the gents of the house is now open to guests who can witness puppet shows and folk dances while enjoying their snacks or drinks. The spacious lobby which opens into the chowk (inner courtyard), was a century ago used by the ladies of the house and is now open to guests. You will treasure this experience of staying in an authentic Rajput home.
This evening, we explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur along with our Guide. An essential starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here to tailor make outfits to your design and size.
We also explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewelry, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewelry to enameled gold to modern diamond jewelry. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.
Overnight : Alsisar Haveli - Heritage Hotel - (Standard Room)
Day 11: Jaipur
This morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills.
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today's visitors as they did their former royal residents.
We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.
Afternoon, proceed on a tour of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the wall that time.
Overnight : Alsisar Haveli - Heritage Hotel - (Standard Room)
Day 12: Jaipur / Fatehpur Sikri / Agra (245 Kms)
Morning Jungle Excursion in open top vehicle
Following a leisurely breakfast drive to Agra, Enroute we visit Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a city that a emperor forgot. After just fourteen years of life, the palaces of Akbar great city of victory fell silent. Its echoing corridors still seen to wait for the king to return. The hill top city lies 37 kms from Agra. This deserted city has two distinct complexes. The first comprises the royal enclosure of the palace, the harem and official buildings and the second is the dargarh of a saint, with a mosque and lofty gateways. To wander among the red sandstone courtyard of Fatehpur Sikri is to travel back in the time when Mughal emperor Akbar rode through the gateway after a triumpant campaign, o be welcomed by his delighted subjects and the royal courts. It reflects the many faceted character of the man who inspired it. The ruthless empire builder who enjoyed all the trapping of power and as liberal enlightened man who took a passionate instant in every aspect of life, be it religion, literature or the painting of miniatures. From here we continue our ride to Agra.
Upon arrival check into hotel Howard Park Plaza.
Following rest and relaxation, we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the ancient Indian architects.
Overnight : Howard Park Plaza - (First Class Hotel)
Day 13: Agra / Delhi (25 Kms)
We are about to witness one of the greatest sights of one's lifetime - the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Before departure for the monument we shall be served tea/coffee and cookies so that our eyes open real wide to behold this breathtaking sight. A dawn visit to the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building.
Following a leisurely breakfast, drive to Delhi. We would have opportunities to stop en route at well-appointed restaurants for refreshments as well as washroom facilities.
Upon arrival check into your Hotel The Connaught.
Home Visit & A Farewell Dinner: This evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a 'feel' and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.
Overnight : The Connaught - Four Star Down Town Hotel.
Day 14: Delhi
Following breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayun's Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 15 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-193) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital.
Afternoon we cross the city and enter into the walled gates of the Old Delhi. The capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries, Old Delhi seems somewhat anachronistic as compared to New Delhi. It draws one through congested roads and lanes, interesting mosques, monuments and forts relating to its chequered history. Our tour includes visits to the Jamma Mosque (165) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi, on to the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.
The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers.
Overnight :At The Connaught - a 4* Downtown Hotel (B)
Day 15: Delhi / Goa (Spice Jet 255 - 112 / 1335)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Goa.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to your hotel Laguna Anjuna. Designed by Dean D'cruz of Nilaya fame, Laguna Anjuna combines old world grace and space with designer interiors. Surrounded with fully grown trees and a large lagoon like pool in a tropical garden setting, people find Laguna Anjuna absolutely enchanting. All the cottages are a different size and shape and each has its own unique features. Externally the place is appealing, with thick laterite stonework and pillars and dome like vaults. The roof is a fully continuous one of wooden rafters and terracotta tiles, curving and swooping to interconnect the various cottages.
"A natural kind of style" Referred to as a boutique resort, Laguna Anjuna is an escape into the solitude's of Goa. As unique in its concept and design, it is a cottage resort cleverly crafted into the existing natural landscape to create a rural ambience with modern comforts. Resort looks out across a wide expanse of paddy fields stretching out to the hills between Anjuna and Baga to the south and the beaches to the west. It is very appealing in terms of its appearance, built in thick laterite stone with pillars and domes.
Overnight :At Hotel Laguna Anjuna
Day 16 - 20 : Goa
Days are at leisure to enjoy spectacular beaches of Goa.
Overnight :at Hotel Laguna Anjuna
Day 21: Goa / Mumbai (Spice Jet 258 - 143 / 153)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to your Hotel The Connaught.
Overnight : Hotel Fariyas (Standard Room)
Day 22: Mumbai / Ddeparture
Transfer to International airport for your onward flight - Thank you very much for traveling with us!
End of Service
Thank You for Giving Us an Opportunity to Serve You
Indicative Low Season Cost Based on 2 People Traveling Together: - USD 2373 Per Person
Accommodation on Twin sharing basis; Daily Buffet Breakfast; Home Dinner with Indian Family; Land Transportation by Deluxe Air Conditioned Toyota SUV; Services of Local English Speaking Guide for sightseeing tours; Elephant ride at Amber Fort / Jaipur; Jeep Safari at Rohet; Inner India airfare as per the itinerary; Boat ride in Udaipur (seat in a launch); Inner India airfare as per the itinerary.