Destinations : Delhi - Mandawa - Gajner - Jaisalmer – Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi
On arrival at Delhi meet Himalayan Adventure Executive and transfer to pre booked hotel at Delhi. Overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning after breakfast take a full day guided sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat, India Gate, President House, Parliament House, Birla Temple, Humaoun Tomb, Qutab Minar Etc. overnight stay at hotel.
After breakfast drive to Mandawa, situated in the heart of the Shekhawati region, Mandawa can be an excellent base station for excursion to the nearly areas. On arrival check into your hotel. Later in the afternoon you will be taken to explore the famous painted buildings of Mandawa – visiting the havelis of the Tibrewala and the Modis. Besides these havelis, Khetri Mahal and Biharji Temple have frescoes worth seeing. Overnight stay at hotel.
In the morning after breakfast drive Bikaner. Just before entering Bikaner visit famous camel breeding farm. This Government managed centre for camel research and breeding is unique in Asia. There are hundreds of camels here and it is a great sight in the afternoon as the camels come back from grazing.
The desert town of Bikaner was founded in the 15th century by Rao Bikaji - a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Jodhaji. Like many other Rajasthan cities, Bikaner is surrounded by a high crenellated wall and like its smaller sister to the south, Jaisalmer it was once an important staging post on the great caravan trade routes. Bikaner has retained its medieval era, and unlike most other cities of Rajasthan, outside influences are minimal here and the traditional lifestyle prevails. The city is chiefly interesting for its superb large fort but it is also noted for the fine camels bred here.
On arrival in Bikaner, straightaway proceed to visit Junagarh Fort. The psychology behind the construction of forts is best explained after a good look at Bikaner's Junagarh Fort. Built around 1587 A.D. to protect 37 palaces, temples and pavilions within, the fort is one of its kinds. Today, the fort houses a museum of valuable miniature paintings and other rare items that are centuries old. After visiting Junagarh continue another 45 minutes to Gajner Palace.
This morning you will be driven to Jaisalmer (5 hours) and check in to hotel which is about 40 minutes outside Jaisalmer. The rest of the day may be spent in leisure.
Full day guided sightseeing of Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer is located in the heart of the Thar Desert. In this arid wilderness, former rulers and merchants of Jaisalmer have built some of the most splendid residences out of sandstone. The Jaisalmer city is said to have been founded in the 12th century A.D. and in the medieval times, Jaisalmer was quite prosperous due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. Ages have gone by and the monuments of Jaisalmer have withstood the buffeting winds of the desert all through. After a day’s excursion you will be driven back to your hotel.
This morning you will be driven 5 hours to the blue city of Jodhpur.
Founded in 1459, Jodhpur was once the capital of the Marwar State and a major trade centre in the 16th century due to its location on the ancient silk route. Today, Jodhpur has grown to become the second largest city of Rajasthan without shedding its medieval splendour.
Later in the afternoon you will be taken for a half-day tour – visiting Mehrangarh fort, Jaswant Thada and walking around clock tower market area.
Mehrangarh fort, one of the largest forts in India, is unsurpassed in beauty and grandeur. Innumerable palaces in the fort, Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are interspersed with sprawling courtyards and intricately carved. A collection of old weapons, arms, musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes and furniture are preserved and displayed in the Sileh Khana. Close to the fort is the 19th century royal cenotaph, Jaswant Thada, a creation in white marble which displays some rare portraits of Jodhpur’s rulers. Those who want to feel the city are advised to visit the clock tower and the nearby colourful market featuring textiles, silver and handicrafts.
Today you will be driven to Udaipur – en route you may visit the stunning Ranakpur Temples.
One of the biggest and the most important Jain temples in India, the extremely beautiful Ranakpur complex is well worth a visit if you are anywhere near Jodhpur or Udaipur. Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are very well preserved and one of the most holy places for Jain pilgrimage. These temples lie in a remote and peaceful valley of the Aravali range. The main temple, dating back to 1439, is called the Chaumukha Temple or the "Four-faced temple" and is dedicated to Adinath — the first of Jain teachers. Beautiful sculpture and grand structures mark the glory of this place. It has 29 halls supported by 1,444 carved pillars, none of which are alike. The play of light and shade on the minutely curved figures leaves a tantalizing effect. The temple was erected on the top of a hill on a raised platform and covered an area of about 4,460 metres. Within the complex are two other Jain temples dedicated to Neminath and Parasnath.
This morning you will be taken for a guided city tour of Udaipur city – including City Palace, Sahelion-ki-bari and Jagdish Temple.
The huge city palace, towering over the lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It is a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal-inspired decorative art on the inside. Started by Maharana Udai Singh, the city's founder, the city palace is made up of at least four separate interconnecting palaces built over a period of nearly three centuries by successive maharanas. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum which houses interesting artefacts from the days of the royalty.
Sahelion-Ki-Bari are beautiful gardens laid out in the mid-18th century for a retinue of forty-eight young ladies-in-waiting who were sent to Udaipur as part of a princess's dowry. The gardens have beautiful lawns, lotus pools, marble pavilions and marble elephant-shaped fountains.
Situated close to the City Palace is Jagdish temple built in Indo-Aryan style. It enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, the creator of the universe.
After a leisurely afternoon, early this evening you will be taken on a Private Boat Ride on Lake Pichola.
Today morning you will be driven 5 hours to Pushkar. Pushkar is famous for its sacred lake and the Brahma Temple, which is said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. Each year Pushkar grounds also host a cattle fair which is attended by hundreds of thousands of locals who come from faraway places for buying and selling cattle and for the holy dip in Pushkar Lake. In the afternoon, you will be taken for a guided tour of Pushkar.
This morning you will be driven 2 ½ hour to Jaipur. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the 'pink city' because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled city. Jaipur is steeped in history and culture and the past comes alive here in magnificent forts and palaces, where once lived the maharajas. Jaipur has been widely regarded as the first modern planned city in the world. Even though the city was founded and built in the 18th century, the city amazes any modern town planner and architect for its brilliance of planning and beauty of architecture. On Arrival you will check into your hotel, and may spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Today you will be taken for a guided tour of Jaipur. In the morning you will visit Amber Fort. The Amber fort is one of the more fascinating of Indian forts. It was the ancient capital of the erstwhile Jaipur state. Its construction began under Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and was subsequently added on to by successive rulers. Though easily accessible on foot, by car or jeep, you may reach atop in royal style on elephant back. In fact, early morning elephant ride to the fort makes a very interesting experience — the long series of intricately decorated elephants climbing the hill to the fort-palace is a sight to relish and remember for a long time. Once inside the fort, the places worth visiting are the Palace of Mirrors, inlaid with millions of tiny glistening mirrors, the hall of Public Audience and the beautiful manicured gardens.
After visiting Amber Fort you will see Hawa Mahal or the palace of winds which is one of the landmarks of the Jaipur city, although it is little more than a façade. It is a five-storey building in pink, built to enable the women of the harem to see the activities of the outside world without being seen.
Later in the afternoon you will visit the Palace and Jantar Mantar. The City Palace is situated in the heart of the city. The whole complex is wonderfully laid out with large courtyards, balconies, cupolas, arched entrances and gardens, which are a combination of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum here displays the rich heritage of the Jaipur family in miniature paintings, textiles, garments, books & manuscripts, carpets, palanquins and weapons dating back to the 15th century.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had a passion for astronomy which led him to build five astronomical observatories or Jantar Mantar in India at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. The observatory at Jaipur, built in 1728, is the largest and best preserved of them. The observatory has curious collection of sculptures which enable the calculation of many astronomical and astrological events like eclipses etc. Each of these structures was built after relentless study of books, manuscripts and discussions with scholars from all over the world. Even today they are put to good work.
Today you will be driven to Agra (5 hours drive) – en route visiting the deserted Mughal City of Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri was built by great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. Although Akbar had many wives, he did not have an heir, which led him to many holy men and finally to the renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti, who lived in an isolated cave near Sikri. The saint blessed Akbar and soon a son was born to him. The grateful emperor named his son Salim after the saint, erected the grand Jami Mosque near the saint's dwelling and vowed to build a great city on that place. Thus emerged the great city of Fatehpur Sikri, a citadel of grand courts, palaces, mosques and gardens that rivalled the splendours of Delhi and Agra. However, destiny had other things in store for the city. Shortage of water and un-rest in the north-west made Akbar abandon the city only 13 years later. Today, even after the passage of 400 years, the magnificence of this royal city has not faded and remains immaculately preserved.
In afternoon you will be taken to visit the incomparable Taj Mahal - surely the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, by 20,000 skilled craftsmen it took 22 years to build this edifice, constructed by Emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj is closed on Friday.
Today morning you may chose to visit to the Taj Mahal one more time – this time around sunrise. After breakfast you will be taken to visit Red Fort. Red Fort was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jehan. The magnificent palaces, towers, bastions, ramparts and gateways symbolise the power of the mighty Mughals. Made mostly of red sandstone it is strikingly similar to the Red Fort in Delhi. In the afternoon drive back to Delhi airport for boarding your flight back home.
Chadar trekking was a fantastic experience and adventure... Until the 15th I only saw one tourist, but after 15th more people showed up. The guide Lama looked behind every time danger was near for me or for my equipment. At one point he even risked his own safety by when he jumped to hold me from sliding down from a high frozen waterfall into the Zanskar river.