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18-Day Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour with Haridwar and Rishikesh

Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour Discover the main highlights of North India and Rajasthan, including the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Haridwar and ending your trip at Rishikesh.

City Visits: Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Rishikesh

Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi Airport. You will be met at the airport by our representative who give you a warm welcome with fresh flower garlands and transfer to your hotel by Deluxe air conditioned Car. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2: Delhi Sightseeing
Morning after breakfast we leave for a sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. We visit Jama Masjid, this immense mosque is both the largest in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees, Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi is a simple black marble platform that marks the spot of his cremation on 31 January, 1948. Two museums dedicated to Gandhi are located near by.

Later we drive past Red Fort citadel. In New Delhi we visit the 11th century Qutab Minar Tower, built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty, who took possession of Delhi in 1206. It is a red sandstone tower, standing tall at a height of 72.5 metres and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Qur’an. The India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war and drive past the grand government buildings the President’s House and Parliament House all dating back to the time of British Raj.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 3: Delhi / Agra (200 Kms / 3 Hrs)
Morning we drive we drive leisurely to the home town of Taj Mahal – Agra, takes us through the beautiful countryside. Early evening we leave to explore the monumental heritage of the Great Mughals, including the magnificent Taj Mahal (Closed on Fridays), one of the Seven Wonders of the World and surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this memorial to Shah Jahan’s beloved wife. It’s a wealth of white marble and semi-precious stone – « undoubtedly the highlight of the tour ». Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 4: Agra Sightseeing
After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the hotel we leave to visit the imposing Agra Fort, this powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques. On the way back we have a amazing view of Tajmahal from Mehtab Bagh — the moonlit garden — believed to Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

have been designed by Shah Jahan to view the Taj on moonlit nights, far away from the maddening crowd, The garden complex is situated on the left bank of Yamuna opposite to TajMahal. It is a huge square measuring approximately 300×300 m and in straight alignment with the Taj Mahal. The forestry plantations and agricultural fields provide a green forecourt to TajMahal and its reflection in Yamuna. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Early evening visit the Itmad-ud-daulah, an exquisite tomb built by Noor Jahan for her father Mirza Ghias Beg. In many ways this tomb foreshadows the Taj Mahal and was the first construction in India which marble inlay work was so beautifully and extensively used. Rest of the evening free to explore the local handicrafts and shopping centers of the city where one can look for marble inlay work, fine quality carpets, Zari and embroidery, leather goods etc. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 5: Agra / Jaipur (250 Kms / 5 Hrs)
Morning we travel to the old walled city of Jaipur – founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II, this ‘pink city’ is meticulously constructed on the lines of the Shilpa – Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. Enroute we stop at Fatehpur Sikri – which has been described as “the world’s most perfectly preserved ghost town”. Built by Akbar in the late 16th century, it was abandoned after only 14 years, and the elegant buildings of this superb walled city remain intact to this day. On arrival at Jaipur we check in to hotel. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6: Jaipur Sightseeing
Morning breakfast followed by a sight-seeing tour of the city visiting the dramatic hilltop fortress at Amber – ascend the imposing fort on a decorated painted elephant. We wander among glittering inlays and the Hall of Mirrors. On the way back we stop to view the elegant Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds this elaborate building, now little more than a façade, is encrusted with delicate screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could sneak views of the outside world.

Post lunch we tour the Maharajah’s City Palace, now partly a museum display a unique fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture, and house a rare collection of paintings, Rajput armoury and costumesiH.

Later we explore the city on our own and indulge in shopping for gemstones, silver jewellery, Paintings, blue pottery and hand printed textiles that Jaipur is renowned for.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 7: Jaipur / Bikaner (320 Kms / 5 Hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel we will be driven to the relatively remote city of Bikaner, tucked away in the desert region of western Rajasthan. The city is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that permeates the city’s lifestyle.

Enroute visiting Mandawa – The towns of Shekhawati are eminent for their amazing painted havelis. Such is the appeal of the havelis that this region is dubbed as “open art gallery of Rajasthan”. The havelis are noted for their frescos depicting mythological themes and that of huge animals.

Some later day frescos shows the arrival of the British and highlighting steam locomotives and train doubtlessly for the benefit of those members of the household who did not travel to distance places by train or see this newly introduced mode of transport. On arrival at Bikaner we check in to our Hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8 : Bikaner / Jaisalmer (330 Kms / 6 Hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by visit to the unusual Junagarh Fort – an unassailable fortress, which has never been conquered. Sumptuously decorated with its ornately lacquered walls in red & gold and panels of dazzling coloured glass inlay set over the coronation throne.

Later we will journey through the vast Thar Desert to the ancient caravan city of Jaisalmer – one of the last princely bastions in the region, founded on the crossroads of lucrative trade routes. Its like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The name Jaisalmer induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain not with standing the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming. We arrive Jaisalmer by early evening and check in to our hotel.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 9: Jaisalmer Sightseeing
Morning we set out to explore the honey-coloured fort that emerges from the flat dry desert sands and enjoy a walk through the maze of narrow streets in the city with ornately decorated ‘havelis’ in yellow sandstone, built by rich merchants at a time when the city was a key stopping place on the caravan routes from the Middle East. Jaisalmer has been described as an ‘open air museum’, and to enter its narrow cobbled lanes is to step back into another era.

Evening just before sunset we arrive at Sam Sand Dunes to see the total sandy bush less desert. It has a truly glorious stretch of sweeping sand dunes. We enjoy Camel Ride by the sand dunes and will be able to take our favourite picture with a lone camel on a desert track and the setting sun in the backdrop.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10: Jaisalmer / Jodhpur (310 Kms / 6 Hrs)
Today our drive takes us to Jodhpur through the most interesting contours of the desert landscape, the enchanting forts, temples, other royal residences and settlements retain its medieval character and comprise the town’s multifaceted attractions.

Enroute we stop to visit Osian, An ancient town in the Thar Desert known for its temples. There are 15 brahminical temples and shrines, and a cluster of Jain temples, all built during the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty between the 8th and the 12th centuries. On arrival at Jodhpur in the evening we proceed to our hotel. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 11: Jodhpur Sightseeing
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel we visit the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, Perched on a 150 m high hill its sprawl is the most formidable and magnificent fort in Rajasthan which dominates and offers spectacular vistas of the blue-hued city. On the way down from the fort, on left is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone that is sculpted by the genius artesian. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Later excursion tour to Mandore – the ancient capital of the Pratihara Rajputs, whose most remarkable monuments are the royal cenotaphs, particularly those of Jaswant Singh and Ajit Singh (XVII – XVIII centuries). A sanctuary dedicated to 300 million divinities shelters statues natural size local heroes. Overnight stay at the hotel. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Day 12: Jodhpur / Udaipur (260 Kms / 5 Hrs)
After breakfast we drive to Udaipur – There is no place in Rajasthan, which appeals more to the imagination of poets and painter, travellers and writers than Udaipur, an oasis in the desert state of Rajasthan.

Enroute we will visit the Jain temples at Ranakpur, superbly preserved in a near-perfect condition for over 500 years. The most attractive features are the 29 halls of the temple, which have 1444 pillars of which no two are like. Private Rajasthan Explorer Tour

Our next stop is Kumbhalgarh – famous for Fort converted into hotel, we can have our lunch here. Beautifully situated on a hill over looking the Kumbhalgarh valley with age-old hospitality and blend of modernity. On arrival at Udaipur we check in to hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 13 : Udaipur Sightseeing

Breakfast at the hotel, followed by an excursion to the famous temple complex of Eklingji & Nagda, which enshrines the deity of the Maharanas of Mewar. Spend the rest of the day exploring this charming lake city by car.

Evening enjoy the ‘Mewar Sound & Light Show’ ‘A Legacy of Honour’, which takes you on a journey through the history of Mewar through 15 centuries.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14: Udaipur Sightseeing
Let the glorious sunrise dazzle you at breakfast. Wander through the opulent City Palace grounds and the museum, which are the testamentto the valour and chivalry of the Mewar rulers. Visit Saheliyon ki Bari (the gardens the maids-of-honour), the Jagdish temple on the shores of Lake Pichola. The Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir is a treasure house of Rajasthani folk culture.

Evening we enjoy the Boat cruise in Lake Pichola. The breathtaking beauty of the Lakes – Pichola and Fateh Sagar truly make Udaipur an oasis in the desert.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14: Udaipur / Delhi (By Flight)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon we fly back to Delhi, met on arrival at airport and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 15: Delhi / Rishikesh (225kms / 4-5 Hrs)
After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the hotel we leave for holy city of Rishikesh – Located 1160 feet above sea level, it is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point to the Char Dham – four famous pilgrim centers namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri. It is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation.

On arrival at Rishikesh. we. Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the luxury of the resort which offers one of the best Ayurvedic Therapies, Spa Treatments and Yoga sessions and awarded No.1 of the top 25 spas in the world. Experience a new lifestyle approach as you are surrounded by the lush greenery, fresh mountain air and mystifying Himalayan views.

Overnight stay at the.

Day 16: Rishikesh Sightseeing
Morning and Evening participate in Scheduled Aerobics, Yoga or Meditation classes. Afternoon visit to the holy town of Rishikesh. We will visit the various ashrams, temples and meet with spiritual leaders.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 17: Rishikesh / Delhi (225 Kms / 5-6 Hrs)
Morning and Evening participate in Scheduled Aerobics, Yoga or Meditation classes. After early lunch we drive back to Delhi. Enroute visiting Haridwar – One of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. In the evening, the Ghats (places built on the banks of the river for the holy dip in the river Ganges) look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (earthen lamps) and marigold flowers illuminate the holy waters at the time of the Ganga Aarti – a much awaited daily ritual, where the river Ganga is propitiated for all the bounty that she bestows on the Indian plains. We visit the Sapt Rishi Ashram and Sapt Sarovar – according to legend the Saptarshis (seven sages) were deep in meditation here.

The Ganga, not wanting to disturb them split herself into seven streams (Sapt Sarovar) around them.

Later we visit Har-ki-pauri, King Vikramaditya constructed this sacred ghat in memory of his brother Bhatrihari who it is believed had come to Haridwar to meditate on the banks of the Ganga. This ghat later came to be known as Har-Ki-Pauri (also called Brahamakund). At twilight, golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganga present the most enchanting sight. The imprint of Lord Hari’s footprint hallows the riverbank temple here. The ghat is regarded the most sacred and auspicious point to bathe in the Ganga during the Kumbh held after 12 years and Ardh Kumbh after 6 years.

We continue our drive to Delhi, on arrival we check in to our hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 18: Depart Delhi
Today we have our rooms upto 12 Noon, we check out and leave to visit the city on our own with a car at disposal. Later transfer to the international airport to Board your homeward flight or connect to your onward destination.

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