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Rajasthan: The Princely State

India

  • A car with a tick VIP door to door
  • A plate with a knife and fork Half board
  • A group of people Small group 30 or less

Immerse yourself in the majesty and tradition of Rajasthan

Ruled for centuries by the elite maharajas and warrior Rajputs, the desert state of Rajasthan is crowned with majestic palaces, temples and hilltop forts. From the romantic lakeside city of Udaipur to the Pink City of Jaipur, you can discover its most fabulous sights on this two-week tour. Also experience the Thar Desert’s arid landscape as you head to historic Jodhpur, take to the dunes of Dechu on four wheels and spend the night in the age-old Khimsar Fort.

Including...

Hands shaking Included travel insurance

Bed14 nights in hotels and 1 in flight

Dinner plate28 meals: 13 breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L) and 13 dinners (D)

PersonSaga tour manager

Plus...

  • Return flights and transfers
  • Welcome drink reception
  • Porterage at all hotels
  • Tourist visa for full British citizens resident in the UK

MapIncluded excursions and visits

  • Delhi city tour
  • Tour of Udaipur's palaces and temples
  • Boat trip on Lake Pichola
  • Guided tour of Jodhpur
  • Explore the Thar Desert
  • Visit to the Amber Fort
  • Tour of the Pink City of Jaipur
  • Ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Visit the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Mehtab Bagh

HeadphonesUse of audio headsets on guided tours

Rajasthan

Discover Rajasthan – a land steeped in history with a landscape that ranges from desert to national parks and bustling cities. Today, Rajasthan is one state, having been composed of 18 princely states that finally merged in 1950. Explore the palaces of Udaipur and Jodhpur – a reminder of the region’s regal history. Cross the Thar Desert and see the Jain Temples of Jaisalmer, and Bikaner’s mighty Junagarh Fort. No visit to Rajasthan is complete without a visit to the vibrant ‘pink’ city of Jaipur – immortalised in the film ‘The Best Marigold Hotel’ and home to a host of historic and beautiful buildings.

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Delhi

After taking your VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Delhi.


Day 2 Delhi

Delhi

After landing, transfer to the 5-star The Suryaa Hotel (4Q), New Delhi for a two night stay.

After checking in look forward to a welcome briefing over a hot drink and biscuit. D


Day 3 Delhi

India Gate

Despite Delhi’s haphazard first impressions, both its Old and New halves were built to order. The walled confines of Old Delhi were commissioned in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, while Sir Edwin Lutyens is responsible for the imperial grandeur of New Delhi.

Discover both sides on an included full-day sightseeing tour. In Old Delhi you’ll see the Raj Ghat – Mahatmas Gandhi's memorial, the bulbous domes and slender towers of Jama Masjid mosque, the largest in India, and Chandni Chowk, the main shopping street where all walks of life collide amid the bustle of the markets.

Highlights in New Delhi include emperor Humayun’s 16th-century tomb and the golden-domed Sikh mosque of Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. You will also drive to see the Red Fort, the India Gate war memorial and the imposing Presidential Palace.

This evening perhaps take the chance to join an optional excursion which features an outdoor Indian barbecue dinner accompanied by displays of some traditional dancing. B, D


Day 4 Delhi-Agra

Agra city, India

After breakfast drive to Agra (145 miles, four hours). This afternoon you will spend an hour at Mentab Bagh – Moonlight Gardens – which was built as the ultimate place from which to view the Taj Mahal.

You’ll spend the next two nights at the 5-star Radisson Hotel Agra (4Q).

Ahead of your visit to the Taj Mahal early tomorrow, you might wish to discover the story behind its creation on an optional excursion this evening. Scores of singers and dancers will tell the love story of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal in the colourful 90-minute Mohabbat The Taj show at the Kalakriti Cultural and Convention Centre. B, D


Day 5 Agra

The Taj Mahal

This morning you can look forward to a once in a lifetime experience as your included excursion visits the Taj Mahal in time to watch the sun rise over its iconic form. Regarded as one of the seven new wonders of the world it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 17th-century structure was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his late wife. Constructed in white marble, it took around 22 years and over 20,000 workers and craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy, to complete it.

After your visit, return to the hotel for breakfast before another excursion takes you to Agra Fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Planned as an impregnable military structure, the fort acquired all the elegance and majesty of an imperial palace. Enclosed within walls two-and-a-half kilometres long, it was the city of the Mughal rulers, within which lay palaces, halls and mosques.

You have the afternoon at leisure, though you might opt to join an optional excursion to see the Itimad-ud-Daulah mausoleum, sometimes referred to as the ‘Baby Taj.’ B, D


Day 6 Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Jaipur

Beautiful architecture in Fatehpur Sikri

Travel to Jaipur (151 miles, four hours and 30 minutes). Along the way you will pay an included visit to historic Fatehpur Sikri, a small but beautiful city an hour to the west of Agra. The city was built between 1571-1573 but served as the capital of the Mughal empire for just 14 years. It features a host of striking red sandstone structures. The imposing 17th-century Buland Darwaza gate is the entrance to Jama Masjid mosque. Keep an eye out too for the marble Tomb of Salim Chishti and the ornate central pillar of Diwan-E-Khas hall. The unusual Panch Mahal is an open-plan pavilion of tiered colonnades and lies next to the Jodha Bais Palace which was developed in a variety of architectural styles.

Another stop along the way is at Chand Baori Stepwell, one of the most historic and iconic landmarks in Rajasthan. Built in the 9th century AD by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty to conserve water and provide respite from the often intense and oppressive heat, the well was dedicated to Hashat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness and has a private room where the royals once rested.

After arriving in Jaipur check in for a two-night stay at the 5-star Hilton Hotel (4Q). B, D


Day 7 Jaipur

Amber Fort

An included morning excursion will reveal the royal palace and temples behind the 16th-century walls of the Amber Fort. Inside this former Rajput capital, you’ll hop in a jeep to discover a fusion of Hindu and Mughal styles thanks to the union of a Mughal emperor and Rajput princess in the 1700s. In 1727, Rajput Maharaja Jai Singh II decided to create a new capital – Jaipur – which you will discover this afternoon. The king, a keen scientist, architect and astronomer, carefully planned every detail, hence the harmonious proportions and grid-like streets in its historic centre.

Visit the iconic City Palace, a complex built in the early 18th century but still holding a royal residence. It is found just across the street from Jantar Mantar, the largest stone and marble observatory in the world. Make the most of the photo opportunity outside the famous Palace of the Winds – the fabulous facade was built to allow the breeze in to cool the king’s harem as they observed what went on outside, without being seen themselves.

This evening perhaps join an optional excursion to the grand Birla Mandir Hindu temple where you can witness a traditional Aarti ceremony of worship. B, D


Day 8 Jaipur-Khimsar

View of Jaipur

Drive into the desert to Khimsar (175 miles, six hours).

Check into the 5-star Khimsar Fort and Dunes Hotel (4Q+), a historic gem where you can look forward to a welcome drink on arrival. 

An optional excursion allows you to explore the desert around the village in a jeep and head to the nearby dunes, with hot drinks and biscuits included. B, D


Day 9 Khimsar-Dechu

Sari clad women in the Thar Desert

After breakfast drive west through the desert to Dechu (76 miles, two hours and 30 minutes), where you spend two nights at the 4-star Manvir Resort & Desert Camp (3Q).

Samsara is a luxurious oasis in the midst of the endless dunes of the Thar Desert.

After settling in you can look forward to hopping into a jeep for an included off-road drive in the desert this afternoon. B, D


Day 10 Dechu

Demoiselle cranes, Khichan village

This morning is at leisure, either relax in the hotel’s tranquil surroundings or perhaps choose to join an optional half-day excursion to go bird watching in the sleepy town of Khichan. The town is a haven for Demoiselle cranes migrating south east from Eastern Europe and south west from Mongolia.

You will get the chance to feed the stately birds during your excursion.

This evening back at the hotel you can look forward to an included camel safari through the sands. B, L, D


Day 11 Dechu-Jodhpur

Blue City Jodhpur, India

The Thar Desert’s arid landscape of subtropical scrubland interspersed with sand dunes will whizz past your window on your journey to Jodhpur today (75 miles, two hours). The Marwar kingdom’s capital for five centuries, Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City, sits on the edge of the desert, enclosed by a nine-kilometre long wall. You’ll pass through eight gates to enter this small city, seven of which represent victories in battle.

Check-in for a two night stay at the 4-star Fairfield by Marriott Jodhpur (3Q) or the 4-star The Ummed Jodhpur Palace Resort & Spa (3Q). You will be given a brief guided orientation walk around the local area after your arrival. B, L, D


Day 12 Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada mausoleum in Jodhpur

Today you can look forward to making an included visit to the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort – its formidable exterior conceals three beautiful palaces graced with delicate latticework, pierced sandstone screens and wall paintings.

Also visit Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs dressed in white marble, which were built in 1899.

After returning to your hotel, you might wish to join an optional cooking demonstration before dinner. B, D


Day 13 Jodhpur-Udaipur

View of Udaipur

Today you will drive south to reach Udaipur (152 miles, five hours). On the way you will visit the Kumbhalgarh hill-top fort, a 15th-century Mewar fortress, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site named Hill Forts of Rajasthan. With the walls of the fort – the second largest in India – extending over 23 miles, it is claimed to be the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China.

After your visit and lunch at a local restaurant, continue on to Udaipur, once the capital of the Kingdom of Mewar, the city was founded in 1553 and is considered by many to be the jewel of Rajasthan’s crown. It is known as the 'City of Lakes' due to its picturesque bodies of water framed by the Aravalli Hills and you will spend the next two nights at the 5-star Tarsarassa Resort (4Q). B, D


Day 14 Udaipur

City Palace in Udaipur

Discover Udaipur's restored palaces on an included city tour. This graceful city of palaces, ghats and temples was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 after the Mewar leader sought advice following repeated Mughal attacks on the then capital of Chittaur. Discover City Palace, a series of restored palaces resplendent with mosaic glass work and frescoes.

Also visit ornate Jagdish Temple, whose carved columns are a fine example of the Indo-Aryan style, and Sahelion Ki Bari gardens, an oasis of lotus pools and marble pavilions that were created for a princess’s handmaidens as part of her dowry!

Then enjoy a scenic drive around Fatehsagar Lake before taking an included cruise across Lake Pichola (subject to water levels). The lake, which was created in 1362, is home to the 18th-century Jag Niwas, an island palace (now a hotel) that seems to levitate on the lake’s surface. B, D


Day 15 Udaipur-Delhi

New Delhi, India

Fly to Delhi (one hour) and stay overnight at the 5-star Novotel Aerocity (4Q) which is conveniently located for your flight tomorrow. B


Day 16 Delhi to UK

Smiling Indian man

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight, arriving this evening for your included VIP door-to-door travel service home. B


Rajasthan: The Princely State

India