Spend 2 weeks scratching the surface of India's most famous state; Rajasthan, offering delicious food, a great infrastructure for tourists to explore, vibrant colour and enough culture and history to last a lifetime. The state of Rajasthan is exciting for any traveller; rich and delicious cuisine, years of bold and bloody history amongst the palaces and forts, glittering saris and sky-high turbans, ornate havelis painted brightly and a huge expanse of desert offering visitors the chance to ride camels, visit small villages and enjoy some soul searching under the moonlit sky.
This two week tour shows you some of the highlights of the state, along with some lesser known stops that allow you to really get a feel for India, away from some of the tourist trail.
You will be met and transferred to your hotel today; the rest of the day is at leisure depending on how tired you are after your journey!
It’s an early start this morning; you will be transferred to the train station to board an express train to Agra. Grab a chai, sit back and enjoy the ride; taking a train in India is a great experience!
In Agra you will find one of the most famous buildings in the world; the Taj Mahal. Explore the impressive Red Fort before heading to the Taj at dusk for a truly memorable sight.
After breakfast you will join your driver and head to Fatehpur Sikri, which is around 45kms from Agra. This former Moghul capital lays abandoned and is an interesting place; it was built by the emperor for his three favourite wives; a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian. The architecture is sympathetic to all three religions.
The ‘Pink City’ as it is known is colourful, chaotic and busy! It’s a hotspot for gems and the bright bazaars are filled with bargains – saris, turbans, wedding attire – they are a hive of activity! The palaces are full of rich history from their royal past, and the hilltop forts offer stunning views.
Today you will spend the morning visiting some of the cities palaces, including ‘Hawa Mahal’ – otherwise known as ‘Palace of the Wind’ which forms part of City Palace.
In the afternoon your excursion will take you to the Amber Fort, a hilltop complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples.
Clinging to the side of Pushkar Lake, this holy town is a pilgrim site for many Hindus. At night you will hear chanting which just adds to the spiritual feel of the place!
After arriving your afternoon is at leisure so spend a few hours exploring the temples and winding down.
Chandelao is a small traditional getaway around 40kms from Jodphur. Experience rural Rajasthan; the village offers the chance to see local craftsmen at work, spot birds, relax with views over the countryside, take a jeep safari – it’s an authentic experience where you can interact with the community and enjoy the art, culture and heritage of the state, away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist trail.
Transfer to the city this morning; you will be staying in a restored Haveli in the Old City.
The city of Jodphur is dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort – it houses an excellent museum and offers excellent views of the blue Brahmin houses of the old city. You can buy a superb audio guide at the entrance to the fort which we recommend.
Continue onwards to the edge of the Thar desert, to Jaisalmer - the ‘Golden City’ that looms out of the horizon. Within the fortress walls are cobbled streets, temples, street hawkers and mansion buildings. Watch out for cows loitering in your way, boys playing cricket and textile merchants flogging their wares (some are absolutely beautiful!)
You will be staying for 2 nights in a beautifully renovated 19th Century Royal Palace.
Free day to wander and explore the winding streets and holy temples.
If you want to explore the desert then a camel trek can be arranged; be prepared for some amazing views combined with slight saddle sore! Please let us know if this something you would like to included.
The fort offers superb views out across the desert and beyond; enjoy Rajasthani cuisine at one of the many rooftop restaurants as the sun sets; a great way to finish your day.
Drive through some rarely visited parts of Rajasthan to get to Bhenswara, meaning ‘the place where Buffaloes were kept’.
You will be staying at a rural manor for 1 night and your stay includes an evening safari to try and catch a glimpse of the elusive panther, whose natural habitat is in this rock-strewn region.
After breakfast you will begin the journey to Udaipur, stopping along the way in Ranakpur where you get the chance to view the magnificent Jain temples.
Udaipur itself is perhaps one of the most romantic cities in all of India! Sat around the glittering Lake Pichola, with the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching out in all directions, this city has natural charm and a fairy-tale feel.
You will be staying for 2 nights in a heritage hotel on the banks of the lake – bed & breakfast.
Enjoy a morning tour, including a visit to the City Palace and the Jagdish Temple.
The afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure; how about taking a local cookery course, a boat trip on the lake or even a trip out to the hills, where you can hike or horseride! There is plenty to keep you occupied. Udaipur is a very special stop, one we are sure you will love.
You have most of the day free in Udaipur again today, so check out the local crafts (the bazaar is host to lots of artists studios, and they are famous for miniature paintings) – seek out some bargains and relax by the lake before transferring to the railway station where you will board an overnight sleeper train back to Delhi. You will be in an air-conditioned carriage for the trip and it takes around 12 hours.
You will be met at the station in Delhi and transferred to your hotel. Use the time to visit any final sights; let us know if you would like any touring arranged.
Your itinerary comes to an end today; you will be transferred back to the airport for your onward flight. Of course, if you’re staying on for longer then why not look at our other itineraries – or let us know what interests you and we can make suggestions.
India’s summer kicks in from February onwards, often reaching and exceeding 40 degrees Celcius around April. This can be an ideal time to escape to the hill stations where you will find cooler air! The monsoon season arrives in the North around July to September/October time and you may find many roads or transport options closed or delayed so be careful to allow for plenty of time to get around. November to February is considered ‘winter’ and this is often the best time to visit weather-wise – comfortable temperatures and clear skies. This is peak tourist time though so beware that hotels and trains will be particularly busy, especially around holiday time when Indian’s travel domestically too.
This is a tailor-made itinerary and as such can be amended to fit your needs – if you want to spend more (or less) time here, or want to include further stops during your travels in India then just let us know and we can help to create the perfect trip!
This trip includes 13 nights in comfortable accommodation; we use a mixture of 3* hotels, traditional heritage properties and Guesthouses to give a truly authentic experience on your travels.
1 night is on-board a train (Udaipur to Delhi)
Rooms are based on a twin share, including breakfast daily.