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Rajasthan: Land of Kings

India | 1st March 2016

Covering some of the most significant sites of northern India, this itinerary encompasses the main highlights of this colourful and historic region. Based, where possible, around luxurious heritage hotels, begin your journey in the historic city of Delhi before travelling south to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and Jaipur – Rajasthan’s fabled ‘pink city’. From here experience rural Rajasthan visiting Ranthambore National Park then staying in forts, ancestral homes and the wonderful tented camp of Chhatra Sagar. End with two nights in the beautiful lakeside city of Udaipur.


Day 1   Depart UK
Today depart the UK on the Virgin Atlantic flight to Delhi.

Day 2         Delhi
Arrive into Delhi and stay for two nights at the Imperial Hotel. Delhi is India's capital and a city of two halves. Old Delhi – the heart of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries – is an historic district of grand mosques, majestic forts and crumbling monuments. In contrast New Delhi, with its large government buildings, wide tree-lined avenues and pretty white-washed bungalows was purpose-built in the 1930s by the British as a colonial capital and remains the epicentre of Indian political power. (B)

Day 3             Delhi
After breakfast commence a morning tour of Old Delhi with your guide to explore the area’s dense network of bustling alleyways, homes, bazaars and mosques visiting famous Chandni Chowk market, the beautiful Jama Masjid, the Red Fort and Rajghat. In the afternoon continue to New Delhi which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is today home to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the Indian President, Rajpath and the imposing India Gate. (B)

Day 4         Delhi to Agra – by train
This morning travel by train from Delhi to Agra and stay overnight at the ITC Mughal Hotel or upgrade to the Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel. Agra was once one of the world’s majestic cities and later today visit the imposing Agra Fort, established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula. No stay in Agra is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, arguably the greatest monument to love, built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal is a building world renowned for its beauty and the craftsmanship is outstanding. (B)

Day 5         Agra to Jaipur – 240kms
Today leave Agra and drive to Jaipur stopping en-route at Fatehpur Sikri. Built of distinctive red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Later enter Rajasthan and continue to the colourful ‘pink city’ of Jaipur where you will stay for two nights at the Samode Haveli or upgrade to the Rambagh Palace Hotel. Planned by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727, Jaipur is a vibrant city of bazaars, beautiful palaces, fine havelis and spectacular forts. (B)

Day 6         Jaipur
This morning drive outside of Jaipur to the dramatically located Amber Fort set on a ridge above the rugged sounding hills. A Rajput capital for over 700 years, there is plenty to explore here from courtyard gardens and small temples to the private chambers of the Maharaja. In the afternoon return to Jaipur to visit the superb City Palace complex which is home to the beautiful Peacock Gate and famous Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’ and the Jantar Mantar – the largest stone observatory in the world. (B)

Day 7         Jaipur to Ramathra – 180kms
After breakfast leave Jaipur and drive to Ramathra and the 350 year old Ramathra Fort which was originally the stronghold of the Jadoan Rajputs. Today this unique fort, which still belongs to their descendants, has been devotedly restored to its former glory and a stay here offers a chance to experience the great outdoors and ‘village India’ at its best combined with a little fort lifestyle and Rajput hospitality. (B/L/D)

Day 8            Ramathra
With its remote location surrounded by farmland, Ramathra has plenty to offer. Places of interest and things to do include a night game drive in the nearby Kailadevi National Park and a visit to the local village, a traditional small hamlet of farmers and herders. The area around Ramathra is also wonderful for walking. Alternatively, should you prefer to stay at the fort, it too makes for fascinating exploration. (B/L/D)

Day 9             Ramathra to Ranthambore National Park – 85kms
This morning leave Ramathra and drive to the Project Tiger Reserve at Ranthambore. Running from the easternmost spur of the Aravallis to the Vindhya Range, Ranthambore is set in a valley or dry deciduous forest dotted with small watering holes. The reserve supports a mixed range of birds and mammals and although the tiger is the main predator, leopards, jackal and hyena are also present as well as sambar, chital, wild boar, nilgai, chinkara and crocodile. Stay for two nights at the comfortable Sher Bagh. (B/L/D)

Day 10           Ranthambore
Visit the park at sunrise and sunset in the company of an expert naturalist. As with much of India the blend between nature and history is strong at Ranthambore and the 13th century fort is the focal point of the park. (B/L/D)

Day 11       Ranthambore to Shahpura Bagh – 200kms
This morning, after a final game drive, leave Ranthambore and drive to the small market town of Shahpura where you will stay for two nights at charming Shahpura Bagh. The history of Shahpura dates back over 400 years and the original house was granted to the present family by Shah Jehan. Accommodation is elegant with a mixture of Rajasthani and colonial furnishings and there is also a beautiful swimming pool in the grounds. (B/L/D)

 Day 12           Shahpura Bagh
At leisure to enjoy and explore Shahpura Bagh at your own pace. Activities here include bicycle rides, walks by the lake, visits to the local temples and nearby town or the chance to explore a neighbouring 17th century fort. (B/L/D)

Day 13       Shahpura Bagh to Chhatra Sagar – 125kms
After breakfast leave Shahpura and continue by road to the beautiful Chhatra Sagar where you will stay for the next three nights. Comprising of thirteen luxurious tents set on a dam overlooking a lake, Chhatra Sagar is a special hotel and is undoubtedly one of the most peaceful and unique hideaways in Rajasthan. The tents are pitched to ensure privacy and all directly face the lake each with a veranda affording exceptional, uninterrupted views. (B/L/D)

Day 14 & Day 15           Chhatra Sagar
Over the next two days enjoy Chhatra Sagar. Due to its location, surrounded by farmland and small villages, a stay at Chhatra Sagar provides an opportunity to experience rural Rajasthan in a way that few other properties allow. Accompanied by one of your hosts visit nearby farms, local temples and meet the neighbouring villagers. Alternatively, remain at Chhatra Sagar where there is excellent birding on and around the lake. (B/L/D)

Day 16       Chhatra Sagar to Udaipur – 260kms
Today leave Chhatra Sagar and drive to the Jain temple complex at Ranakpur. The most famous of the temples here was built in 1439 and is particularly beautiful. Later continue the picturesque drive to Udaipur where you will stay for two nights at the Leela Palace Hotel or upgrade to the Taj Lake Palace Hotel. With its white marble palaces, languid deep blue lakes, well-tended gardens and a back-drop of endless green hills, Udaipur is one of Rajasthan’s most attractive cities. (B)

Day 17           Udaipur
After breakfast visit the City Palace, an impressive complex of several palaces which overlook Lake Pichola and are still owned by the Maharaja of Udaipur. Places of interest here include the Mor Chowk court, Manak Mahal, Chini ki Chitra Mahal and the Queen’s Palace. Also visit the Fateh Prakash Palace and its unique Crystal Gallery and grand Durbar Hall. From the City Palace return on foot to the old town and the intricately carved Jagdish Mandir temple ending the day with a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola. (B)

Day 18           Udaipur to Delhi – by air
Today transfer to Udaipur Airport in good time to catch the afternoon flight to Delhi where you will stay overnight at the Imperial Hotel. (B)

Day 19         Delhi to London - by air
Today transfer back to Delhi Airport to catch the Virgin Atlantic flight non-stop to the UK.

19-Day Tour Price Indication [per person]
From: £4,995.00

[Tour in association with Pettitts UK]