Destination Himalaya
Sanjay Saxena Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist for India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka
India, Tibet, Nepal & Sri Lanka

Royal Rajasthan
Historical India with Ashok Jain

The exploits and incomparably lavish and extravagant lifestyles of the maharajahs, maharanas, maharanis, nizams, princes and princesses of India are the stuff of legend. While these storied royals no longer wield the same political clout as before, many former ruling families still hold prestigious places – and prestigious palaces – in their society. Whereas in days gone by, these residences were strictly for the enjoyment of royalty and their entourage, today the curious traveler can also call many of the palaces home. India’s palaces are some of the most architecturally exquisite residences in the world, places of intricate beauty and romantic exoticism. On this tour, we will take up residence in the crème de la crème of India’s palaces, as we make our way from Delhi to the premiere regal residences of Rajasthan, and on to the newest of Taj’s magnificent palace hotels, the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVE DELHI
Met on arrival and transfererd to the Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 2: EXPLORING DELHI
In the morning we visit sites in “Old” Delhi, followed by sites in “New” Delhi.
Taj Mahal Hotel

Day 3: TO JAIPUR
In the morning we fly to Jaipur, the “Pink City,” founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th Century.  We will check into the Maharajah of Jaipur’s old residence, now an elegant and palatial hotel.  The Rambagh Palace, started in 1835 as a modest four-room pavilion for the queen’s favorite handmaiden, is now an architectural masterpiece on 47 sprawling acres. This afternoon we will explore the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Jaipur’s colorful bazaars.
Rambagh Palace

Day 4: EXPLORING JAIPUR
Early morning excursion to Amber Fort.  Balance of the day at your leisure.  In the evening we will have a special Rajasthani dinner with members of one of Jaipur’s noble families.
Rambagh Palace

Day 5: TO JODHPUR
This morning we fly to Jodhpur, the fabled “Blue City,” nestled beneath the ramparts of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort. Set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens, the Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the world. After 15 years of construction, the 347-room palace was finally completed in 1943 and has since served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family.
Umaid Bhawan Palace

Day 6: EXPLORING JODHPUR
We have the full day to sightsee in Jodhpur, the ancient capital of the Marwar Kingdom. We will visit the Mahrangarh Fort and the Clock Tower Bazaar, where locals shop for all their needs, from glass bangles to fresh produce. Umaid Bhawan Palace

Day 7: TO UDAIPUR
Today we fly to the romantic lakeside city of Udaipur, founded by the Maharana Udai Singh in the 16th Century.  Upon arrival, we board a boat to take us across the waters of Lake Pichola to the regal Lake Palace (built by Maharana Jagat Singh II in 1746), where we will be spending our two nights in Udaipur.
Taj Lake Palace

Day 8: EXPLORING UDAIPUR
We have the day to explore the “City of Sunrise”:  Visits to the Jagdish Temple and City Palace complex, the bazaar and other sites in and around Udaipur.  Sunset boat cruise on Lake Pichola. Taj Lake Palace

Day 9: TO MUMBAI
This morning we fly to Mumbai. Our home for the next two nights, the Taj Mahal Palace, is fit for a king but was originally built in 1903 as a hotel by Jamsetji N. Tata, the visionary founder of India’s premier company, Tata.
Taj Mahal Palace

Day 10: EXPLORING MUMBAI
Today we set out to explore Elephanta caves and the city, with visits to Victoria Terminus and other colonial-era sites, Prince of Wales Museum and Gateway of India.
Taj Mahal Palace

Day 11: TO HYDERABAD
Today we will fly to Hyderabad, where our journey through royal India reaches a stunning conclusion. It is the former kingdom of the legendary Nizams, who were at one time the world’s wealthiest individuals. Completed in 1893, the magnificent Falaknuma Palace soon became the last word in eastern opulence and luxury, and only recently was converted to a hotel.
Falaknuma Palace

Day 12: EXPLORING HYDERABAD
We have the day to explore the city, which has an eclectic mix of medieval India, Saracenic, Mughal and Colonial architecture rarely found in other parts of the country. There are whimsical palaces, stately homes and crowded bazaars filled with shops selling Hyderabadi pearls, incense and copper utensils.
Falaknuma Palace

Day 13: TO DELHI & DEPART TO USA
We will return to Delhi, where we will dine at one of the city’s finer restaurants and then transfer to international airport for our return flight to the USA.

Please visit our slide show page to see a images from Rajasthan.

Suggested Extensions:
  • QuickEscapes – Kerala
    Take in some R&R in the calm and leisurely paced life on the backwaters of the Arabian Sea, enjoy the pristine beaches of Kerala and an Ayurvedic spa.

  • QuickEscapes – Mountains
    Visit the Hill Stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling offering fabulous views of the high Himalaya.  Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu can all be viewed from Tiger Hill, above Darjeeling.
Other itineraries featuring Rajasthan:

Call us toll free at 1-800 MY INDIA (1-800-694-6342) or email us to request a detailed day-to-day itinerary.

" Various Tour Companies have taken us to 17 countries and all 7 continents. None has been better than our tour of Rajasthan with Destination Himalaya."
- Bob & Marlene W, CA


Rajasthani miniature

Features:
Palace Hotels
World Heritage Sites of
Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Jantar Mantar, Elephanta Caves & Victoria Terminus
Bazaars of Jaipur & Delhi
Udaipur & Hyderabad

It's Included:
Medical & evacuation insurance
Accommodation in Palace Hotels or 5 Star luxury hotels
All ground transportation, local guides and entrance fees
Fully escorted trip

Departures:
February 1 – 15, 2016
December 5 – 20, 2016

Land Cost:
4 + participants: $7880

artistic photo of arches Amber Fort, Jaipur by Sanjay SaxenaBirla Mandir, Delhi
artistic photo of arches Amber Fort, Jaipur by Sanjay SaxenaAmber Fort, Jaipur
artistic photo of arches Amber Fort, Jaipur by Sanjay Saxena
Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai

Rajput man, Udaipur
Photo of Rajasthani camel rider at Pushkar camel fair by Gillian Marshall
Elephanta cave carvings
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