India: Rajasthan Explorer    *alt*

23 days, from £3495
Wild Frontiers
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Description

Rajasthan is the 'Land of Kings' and paints a bold image of India at its finest. This trip incorporates a list of the must-see but also the little-known elements of this region in one fell swoop! We start in Delhi, the famous gateway to India and then move on to the forts, palaces and havelis which have made Jaipur - the dusky pink city, Jodphur - the fabled blue city, and Udaipur - the lake-side white city, so famous. However we will also experience the less well known areas of Khandela, Bhenswara and Bijaipur where we take a dip into the lives of the rural population, far removed from the pageantry and excesses of the old days of the Raj and today's modern Maharajahs.

To add to the variety we also head out on safari in search of tigers in Ranthambore and to look for birdlife in Gajner. And of course no visit to Rajasthan would be complete without the wonderful city of Jaisalmer rising majestically out of the Thar Desert. The hospitality in this area is legendary and full of warmth and generosity from the locals, whether they are the traditionally robed Rajput warrior males topped with their distinctive turbans, or the local women swathed in their beautifully coloured saris in the villages. The Rajasthani food is a real treat too!

Overall we think this is the perfect trip for those wanting a comprehensive tour of Rajasthan and an insight into India that goes far beyond the Taj Mahal

Highlights:

- Explore the Aravalli Hills and travel out to the edge of the Great Thar Desert
- Visit Jaisalmer & Jodhpur, home to beautiful havelis, intricate Jain temples and the magnificent Meherangarh Fort
- Search for tigers and other wildlife in Ranthambore National Park
- Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary - home to Indian blue bulls, gazelle and thousands of migratory birds
- Experience the warmth and hospitality in the rural locations of Khandela, Bhenswara, Castle Bijaipur and the surrounding villages

Tour Includes:

- Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
- 22 breakfasts, 21 lunches, 21 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
- Drinking water throughout
- On this tour we will use mini-bus coasters and local jeeps
- 22 nights accommodation (21 in hotels - including 18 nights in heritage hotels and 1 night in a 5 star hotel in Delhi - and 1 night in tents at a desert camp)
- All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
- A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)
ALL OUR SMALL GROUP TOURS HAVE NO LOCAL PAYMENTS, HIDDEN EXTRAS OR COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS.

Itinerary


 Day 1: Tour starts in Delhi

We meet shortly before lunch and will have time this afternoon to explore some of the Indian Capital.


 Day 2: Delhi - A Agra

We drive to Agra and visit its mighty Fort of palaces and mosques, then see the Taj Mahal at sunset.


 Day 3: Agra - Ranthambore National Park

Before our train we visit the deserted city at Fatehpur Sikri then take a game drive in Ranthambore National Park.


 Days -5: Days 4: Ranthambore - Jaipur


 Day : We go tiger spotting again this morning then move on to the pink city of Jaipur and enjoy an evening wander. Day 5: We spend the day visiting the Palace of the Winds the City Palace Museum and the bazaar in this iconic city.



 Days -6: Jaipur - Khandela


 Day 6: This morning we stop off at the wonderful Amber Fort before continuing on to Khandela in the afternoon. Day : Believed to date back to the Mahabarat period, the small town of Khandela provides us with a charming backdrop to a day of genteel exploration.



 Days 8-9: Khandela - Gajner


 Day 8: A quick stroll around the narrow streets of Nawalgarh before heading to Gajner Wildlife Sanctury - a place of outstanding natural beauty. Day 9: A day trip into the Thar desert to visit the old town of Bikaner and its centrepiece of Junagarh Fort.



 Day 10: Gajner - Nagaur

Today we turn south to Nagaur, a medieval city that lay at the confluence of the trade routes from Gujarat, Sindh and west across the Indus. It was also at the centre of the Muslim invasion from Central Asia.


 Day 11: Nagaur - Manwar

Here is when we go right into the desert to our unique luxury tented camp set up in a manner that harks back to the battlefield encampments of the Mughal emperors of the 17th century.


 Days 12-13: Manwar - Jaisalmer


 Day 12: We have this morning to enjoy the quiet stillness of the desert camp before moving the short distance to one of India's most treasured settings; Jaisalmer. Day 13: We have a day to take in this extraordinary city giving ample opportunity to lose ourselves among the backstreets of the old city and explore the temples and havelis that make up its historic centre



 Day 14: Jaisalmer - Jodphur

Leaving the 'Golden City' behind we head back east to the 'Blue City' which was once the wealthiest city in Rajasthan and home to the magnificent Meherangarh Fort.


 Days 15-16: Jodphur - Bhenswara


 Day 15: This morning we visit the Cliffside Meherangarh Fort them the Bishnoi Tribe en route to Bhenswara. Day 16: This morning we relax and then take a 'leopard and shepherd' safari in jeeps to visit the Rabari people.



 Day 17: Bhenswara - Jojowar

We take a nostalgic train journey through the Khamli Ghat and onto the Aravalli plateau before heading to Jojowar.


 Days -19: Day 18:Jojowar - Bijaipur


 Day : Stopping en route in Chittorgarh to visit the imposing fort, we make our way the impressive Castle Bijaipur. Day 19: A visit to local villages to take in local lifestyle and customs is the order of our relaxed day today.



 Days 20-23: In Bijaipur


 Day 20: There are plenty of options here; walking, cycling, horse riding, or simply relaxing by the pool. Day 21: We take a short drive to the 'Venice of the East', and take an afternoon boat trip on Lake Pichola. Day 22: Udaipur is best explored at leisure and with its labyrinth of alleyways getting lost is part of it! Day 23: The tour ends after breakfast in Udaipur.