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

Royal Rajasthan
Exploring Rajasthan with Karanveer Singh

Rajasthan is the land of the Rajputs, who have held dominion over the western deserts of India for more than a thousand years. It is one of the areas of India where great numbers of people are still to be seen in traditional garb; their adherence to tradition is proof of the tenacity of a proud heritage.  Here the barren desert-scape underscores the colorful human imprint.  Swirling skirts festooned with shiny embroidery, turbans of every hue, temple doors daubed with handprints, shrines garlanded with flowers; pleasing color is everywhere.

Our tour of Royal Rajasthan is designed for us to experience Rajasthan in the style of the maharajas of yore, staying at some of India’s finest royal palace hotels.  We begin our journey in the romantic and royal lakeside Udaipur, the “City of Sunrise.”  We then see the havelis in the historic citadel city of Jaisalmer, before venturing deep in the Thar Desert to experience rural Rajasthan at its best in the village area of Jamba.  Here we will also experience true Rajasthani hospitality at the exclusive Dera Sand Dune Resort, perched atop a sand dune with breathtaking panoramic desert views.  We then head to the capital of Royal Rajasthan, the “Pink City” of Jaipur. Of course, no trip to India is complete without visiting the “the monument of love” the Taj Mahal.

While we will be spending time visiting and exploring India’s iconic architectural monuments and historic locales, we will also be focusing our visit on what we term the “living cultures” of India; for the nation has no greater asset than her people.  Throughout our journey we have incorporated several very special opportunities to meet and interact with the Indian people, to get to know them and to get a glimpse into the India’s “living cultures.”

Outline Itinerary

Day 1: DEPART USA

Day 2: ARRIVE DELHI

Day 3: 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.

Day 4: EXPLORING UDAIPUR - We have the day to explore the “City of Sunrise.”  Visits to the Jagdish Temple and City Palace complex, explore the bazaar and other sites in and around Udaipur.  Sunset boat cruise on Lake Pichola.

Day 5: TO JAISALMER – We fly to Jodhpur in the morning, then head into the Thar Desert to historic Jaisalmer, lying on the old trade route between India and southwest Asia.  In Jaisalmer, we will be staying at the Taj Rawal-Kot.  Inspired by the historic haveli architecture of Rajasthan, the hotel offers wonderful views of scenic Jaisalmer, founded by Maharawal Jaisal in the 12th Century.

Day 6: EXPLORING JAISALMER – Today we will rise early to watch the sunrise from Gadsar Lake, take a walking tour through old Jaisalmer and the fabulous Jaisalmer Fort, and wander the town’s lively bazaars.

Day 7: TO JAMBA – Leaving Jaisalmer, we journey to the Bishnois village area of Jamba and the Dera Sand Dune Resort, set atop a 130' high sand dune with panoramic views of the Thar Desert.  The Resort features exquisite examples of traditional Rajasthani architecture used throughout, with stonework and carvings using local design and sustainable materials, utilizing the skills of local craftsmen.  It features individual deluxe cottages, a swimming pool, spa and beautiful restaurant.

Day 8: EXPLORING JAMBA – Full day to explore the Bishnois tribal villages, and to meet and interact with the villagers, as we take a 4-wheel drive desert safari into the heart of the Thar Desert.

Day 9: TO JAIPUR - In the morning we will drive to Jodhpur and then 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.

Day 10: 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.

Day 11: TO KALAKHO VILLAGE AREA – Journey into the heart of rural Rajasthan and the agricultural village area of Kalakho and the Dera Lakeview Retreat.  Set on the banks of a monsoon lake, off the Agra to Jaipur highway, it is ideally located for exploring the traditional village life of rural India.  Skillfully blending the exotic ambience of an authentic village with modern facilities, this air-conditioned retreat is a unique experience.  Take a camel safari to meet and interact with the local villagers.

Day 12: TO AGRA - Today we will drive to Agra, en route visiting Fatepur Sikri, the old capital of the Mughal Empire under the legendary Akbar. Watch the sunset on the Taj Mahal, one of the architectural wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site.  We will spend our two nights in Agra in royal style at the luxurious confines of the magnificent Amarvilas, another masterpiece in the Oberoi Vilas chain.

Day 13: EXPLORING AGRA - We have the day to explore the Mughal Capital.  After watching the sunrise on the Taj Mahal, we visit the Red Fort and Itmad ud Daula, among other sites.

Day 14: TO DELHI & DEPART TO USA – After another glorious sunrise on the Taj Mahal, we will return to Delhi, where we will dine together for our sumptuous “Farewell Dinner” at one of the city’s finer restaurants.  Transfers to international airport for return flight back to the USA.

Day 15: ARRIVE 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:
World Heritage Sites of
Taj Mahal, Fatepur Sikri
Bazaars of Jaipur & Delhi
Sunrise on the Taj Mahal
Camel Safari
Remote Villages

It's Included:
Medical & evacuation insurance
Accommodation in Palace Hotels, 5 Star luxury hotels and Private Deluxe Camp
All ground transportation, local guides and entrance fees
All meals after arrival in India
Fully escorted trip

Private Departures:
On Demand

Land Cost:
6-9 participants: $7885
10+ participants: $7245

Photo of Idmad ud daula, Petite Taj, by Sanjay SaxenaItmad ud daula, Agra
Photo of Rajasthani woman by Gillian MarshallRajput beauty
Photo: Gillian Marshall
artistic photo of arches Amber Fort, Jaipur by Sanjay Saxena
Amber Fort, Jaipur

Fatepur Sikri, Agra
Photo of Rajasthani camel rider at Pushkar camel fair by Gillian Marshall
Camel rider at festival
Photo: Gillian Marshall
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